WFH… Will the Control Freaks win in the end?

I am working from home.

And I have just read that it is a big new thing for the future.

Spotify is just one of the latest company’s to state that their employees can now work from home. In fact, Spotify has gone further than most company’s and stated that their employees can work from anywhere in the world and still receive the same pay and benefits.

From a corporate point of view, this is a brave new world. 

From an employee point of view… THIS IS A BRAVE NEW WORLD.

Although, it is a new world that not everyone will get to explore evenly. Unless you make the choice now.

It is never a one size fits all option and a balance is needed because people are social animals. But Working from home, from anywhere you can, has to be on offer as part of the employee remuneration package.

However, I do cry out that we should be looking to take things even further.

We should change the script.

Not only should working from home, working remotely, be an acceptable norm. But the challenge also has to be levied against the idea of the working week as it currently stands. 

That normal ‘working week’ needs an upheaval.

The whole thing needs a review. The working week and the place that we work from is a must for a complete rethink.

I am personally very delighted to see this idea of remote working develop, but I have long said the 9-5 grind is a broken way of working. The way we organise work was built on a time long gone, and the idea of the working week of 40 hrs, 9-5 as a standard needs a serious challenge.

The cracks are beginning to show. People are getting curious and the Company’s’ owners are listening, they see a turning tide.

Higher minimum wages, fewer working hours and more family time have to be a recipe for many positives. All of this and more can make an impact on the economy. From increased spending in local communities to better health and improved corporate and social responsibility… even from the green credentials, it all stacks up.

To see it play out so quickly is refreshing. It will take strong, smart people with dynamic new ways of thinking to drive it forward. The new generation will be riding the wave of that change.

The sad part is that it has taken a global pandemic to force through the change so quickly. That breaks my heart.

The current situation has given the bandwidth to the new. It has forced innovation. It has made everyday people rethink and reflect on what matters to them the most.

But over time, this situation will change. The threat from the pandemic will degrade and science will eventually conquer it.

Over time, things will evolve. 

Life could come back to be the old ‘normal’.

This current new world will be in its early stages, it is scene one of a three-act play.

This will be the precarious moment. The second scene…

The longest part of the play. The key part of the movie.

At this point who will be the heroes?

Who will be brave enough to keep this new world going?

Because the control freaks, the people who measure things, the square pegs in the square holes, the sensible ones. The productivity kings that lack imagination, the measurers, the bottom line people, they will squeeze back in to play.

Like the ending of a horror movie, the Jason Voorhees’s of the world will bounce back for one last attempt to maintain their horror show.

They will want their targets achieved, they will need to stack it up, it has to be a finite outcome for them… they don’t trust anyone, in the end, things will swing back. 

For one last encore. It will look like they have won.

‘When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.’

Goodhart’s law is named after British economist Charles Goodhart,

Winning to them is everything.

Their mantra; Profit is king. The Customer is King. Not you, the worker. You are the resource to be used and deployed. 

You are part of the expendables.

At the end of this corporate horror movie scene, where the control freaks bounce back up out of the deep dark water to frighten you once again, they will be speared… 

I like to think People power will win out.

But, the company’s that they will have led back into that dying ember of a target driven working-week, they will be very much living that Kodak moment.

They will be left holding the old, while decrying the new, only to find themselves obsolete.

Captured, still in an analogue process, while the digital world rolls on into the sunset.

Oh, and what a glorious sunset.

Listen to this on my Podcast Channel


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