Your place of work has undoubtedly changed – and perhaps permanently, or at least for some of the time – right?

Working from an office is pretty prescriptive, isn’t it? I am unaware of an employer who allows you to choose your desk, your chair, (and location of), but it’s really not easy to do that, is it?

We have (almost) all had over a year of “remote working” which in this case means “working from home” (WFH). and significantly, I’d suggest that this has meant a very temporary set up in a room not dedicated as an office. Yes, I am sure that many have a study or similar, but certainly not all.

For those of us who have created a temporary base, we have realised how important it is to have the right set-up, including the following:

  • Appropriate seating
  • Appropriate desk – height adjustable ones have seen huge growth, as this enables us to stand up some of the time instead of sitting all day, which is not good for us
  • Lighting – an often massively overlooked issue
  • Power – how many of us have cables strewn across the lounge or dining room floor
  • Good quality Audio and Video – critical as we’ve moved so many of our interactions onto online meeting platforms
  • Screen real-estate for many is a massive issue if you’re beyond simple letter creation and note taking – most especially for collaborative tasks

This wasn’t intended as an exhaustive list, but a starter for 10, and areas that I am certain will resonate with most if not all of us. So for many, the future is looking like it’s going to be a somewhat different place from the one we had imagined, as the world of work becomes HYBRID. Not wholly office-based nor wholly home based (apart from home-based businesses of course)

So this means it is probably time to take stock of the “environment” we are working in, including the set-up, and the “technology” we are putting to use to enable us to be effective on a more permanent basis.

Here is a blog post to review if you are thinking that you need some ideas or help with it –

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Has flexible working delivered?

I’m curious to know what evidence there is to show that the promise of location freedom has been realised.

We’ve seen a big drive for flexible working and a technology rush to support this, yet I’m unconvinced that the journey has been started by many businesses to date. I believe that this is still to be undertaken by most businesses and by and large is currently no more than a tactic to ensure that workers can be effective should they find themselves unable to get to the office. Why do I believe this? Well it’s my belief that most business leaders are still stuck in the paradigm that workers cannot be trusted and if they are not in the office then they are probably not working. Is there any empirical evidence to support this view or present a more positive picture I wonder?

Workspace not Workplace 

The whole concept of Work is changing – there are many reasons why this is happening, but changing attitudes to work coupled with agile working policies underpinned by technology innovation are probably a few of the key factors.
Work for all of us used to be a place that we went to – a commute to the workplace, followed by an 8 hour stint of work, and a commute home. For many people though, this has already changed perhaps forever – work for many is an activity that can be conducted wherever you are – at home, at a customer or partner site, or in a coffee shop and even whilst traveling (if using public transport). The technologies in play today make this a reality for many organisations and their staff, allowing enhanced collaboration and sharing with Unified Communication platforms such as Microsoft Lync – soon to be called Skype for Business at the vanguard of such a technology wave.
Whilst there are many people and organisations at the leading edge of this technology adoption curve, there are many more people and businesses unable to disaggregate location and technology, and are stifled by lack of investment in infrastructure and IT especially over the past decade or so.
Mobile devices – Tablets and Smartphones have played a significant role in freeing people from their cubicles – the ubiquitous iPhone and iPad have had a profound effect on the way we are able to work. Many other competitor technologies have emerged subsequently and the explosion of such mobile and powerful devices has only served to accelerate the growth of flexible working.
Clearly, this presents some significant challenges to the enterprise’s IT departments relating to security and access. Mobile staff need access to corporate assets from their remote locations, and the trend towards people using their own devices in preference to the corporate provided ones all need understanding and managing and all of which is addressable with the right integrated solutions.
The good news is that this journey can be embarked upon at a pace that will not cause the IT and financeteams to have nose bleeds, and once planned, can be elegantly executed at a pace that suits the challenges at hand