When I read that after the pandemic, the office of the future would be going through a change, I started to have some doubts. I am not sure if people are that up for change – when I say people, I mean the bosses.
I have long argued that offices, or the other environments that are close to being office like in nature, are nothing short of power-play settings for the needy and the greedy. The bosses need people to be in the office because they need to be bosses. That’s their job. To boss.
I think the innovative companies of the future will come from working through remote guiding coalitions. There will be no need for an office building, and when they do need an office for a magnificent meeting, they just rent it for a couple of days. These new companies working in this different flow will chip away at the giants crown. These companies will be constructed of people committed to a cause rather than compliant to a person or an excruciating office subculture that only recognises the brown of the particular noses. These people employed at the innovative organisations will be all-in because they will have the balance of power.
These companies will inherit the innovators because the innovators always want to change things and work in unique ways. They want to tackle the problems from many angles and throw caution to the wind to make shit happen in a remarkable and exciting way. They do not want to maintain the status quo. They want to upend it. They want to run ahead at a million paces a minute and live in the world where mistakes happen, and when things feel that they are ‘kinda right’, then they do it anyway. These are the people that don’t need an office, they need connections. They need a way to facilitate their minds and explore what ‘can be’ rather than ‘what needs to be because it always has been’.
They do have a need, that’s for sure, the need to be free from cubicles.
They do not need the compliance masters at the office. Productivity is off the charts for these innovative people because it is a passion for them to deliver a difference, a desire to rise up and change things. To move shit forward and in doing so to donate their time from their own goodwill.
The office beancounters are confused by the innovators because the pesky innovators do not hang onto measurement as an anchor. Their north star is creativity.
The anchor for the office jockey is what keeps them tethered to the daily chore of maintaining their protective shell and is what keeps them saying yes to the mundane.
It is OK to live in safety. It is a basic need, after all, but it’s not for everyone.
The office lovers will never understand why the innovators are hacking away at the ropes that bind the anchor. Why are they so different, and why do they always have to be the noisy ones focused dead-on on upsetting the apple cart.
It tickles me that the innovators that were once the upstart companies, the very companies that are producing and driving forward the world of communications tools, are the ones insistent on the return of the office.
It Google’s my noodle, softens my brain micro and hits me like a book to the face that given an Instagram moment – these behemoths would have us all back at our desks on their terms because they can. They need to see you there. It’s control. Power. It’s also a good look for the company. A strong image for the marketing team.
But I am not sure if the marketing team are selling it all that well to the new bread of innovators. Some peoples needs have changed.
I pray for the post-pandemic change that is promised. I wish I could be part of it, but I doubt I can be…
Because I NEED the regular paycheck so I will NEED to be compliant.