Previously on the Re-invention of Work…

I’ve created this link as a simple place to bookmark some of the research and facts that we’ve come to accept over the last few months.

It may well be that your boss or company would like to be sure of the substance behind the emerging trends and consensus – and sharing this link might give them some third party sources to help them reflect on their own opinions.

 

  • To make a version of their culture that works, firms need to decide the importance of three key ingredients:
    • What is their workplace why? Why do employees feel the need to come into the office on each particular day (rather than go to see customers, or work from home or go to a meet-up)
    • How important is the network effect of your office? Your workplace why might be that on a couple of days a week you want the network effect of everyone being together. It begs two further considerations: firstly are you willing to ban video calls on those days? (and what impact will that have on people who have to work from home). Secondly, we need to be honest about how many days a week we need that effect – because pretty soon if colleagues have spent the whole day on video calls they’ll start questioning ‘the exciting buzz of the office’ that you promised them. The truth of 2020 and 2021 is that we have overpriced the benefit of the network effect. We thought we needed five days, but what would happen if the answer was one day a week is enough? (And what would happen if it is less…?) It’s worth saying that some companies decide that strong shared experiences are the backbone of their culture (or customer service) and they think about intentionally driving these up (but this might look like more events rather than more days a week together in the office)

We’ve said it here before but this is very much a time for experimentation. I worked with one company that had over 60 different experiments in place. They were measuring them on a number of metrics like productivity and employee happiness. Anyone who tells you they have all of the answers right now is ridiculously overconfident.

If you want more updates to this the Make Work Better newsletter goes out every two weeks.