This edited story by Alexia Cambon was in The Guardian recently. I’ve made a few comments in the text and edited it down to blog size.
This story says we need to stop designing work around location, and start designing work around human behaviour. Bravo!
It took a pandemic to normalise remote working, and despite the fears of many CEOs and HR blockers, most organisations saw no demonstrable loss of productivity.
Pre-pandemic, staff had to justify their need to work from home. Post-pandemic, employees will ask employers to justify the need to come into the office.
Many organisations argue post facto, that employees’ wellbeing is compromised by remote working, and that unless they are brought back into the office, they will suffer Zoom fatigue.
Sound like bull dust masquerading as fear? Sure is.
Why are we hanging on to the linear day as the only schedule in which work can be done? I wrote this story six years ago – a precursor of what is happening now.
What would happen if organisations looked outside this way of working, and trusted employees to set a non-linear schedule, based on their individual circumstances, that kept them healthy, sane and productive?
Why is the office is still viewed as the headquarters for work? We are long past needing to prove that work can be done outside an employer-owned space.
Virtual meetings are cognitively draining. Forcing us into more meetings to compensate for the lack of office “water-cooler moments” is only increasing fatigue. What would happen if we were to work asynchronously by default, and set limits on time spent together during a day, or even a week?
We are not working within systems that are built for the environment we are in. And until organisations stop to reassess why we work the way we do, and fundamentally change those aspects, fatigue will continue to rise.
Bringing people back into the office full time isn’t the answer – workers don’t want to give up the flexibility that gives them greater control of their lives.