Huminate blog

Work from anywhere, a viable option for office flexibility

One size doesn’t fit all that’s why in life and work we want and need options.

When the time comes most of us will be going back to the office with mixed feelings. On one hand, we are looking forward to the human interaction and connections we get from work. On the other, we have an underlying feeling of unease.

This unease comes from realising that the OSFA office cubicle no longer fits our working lifestyle. Pre 20202, the only real option for most office workers has been to sit inside a cubicle, five days a week, for our entire working lives with limited flexibility.

Now, working from anywhere (WFA) is emerging as a viable workplace flexibility option. WFA also isn’t an OSFA approach, more an experimental journey to try out multiple flexibility options and see how they fit. Accepting it won’t be perfect the first time. Imperfection is a great way to learn from the experience and to find the right fit overtime.

A few years ago, I worked with a brave individual who tried to break out of the office OSFA and bring flexibility to the way we work. Sadly this is no Pixar plot, she tried, almost succeeded but ultimately failed.

At the time, WFH was only an option if you were sick, looking after someone who was sick, or waiting for a repairperson to come over. WFA was non-existent. Our company was modern, progressive and values driven. Everyone proudly supported each other and we all had an equal voice. It was a great place to work.

My colleague was a traveller at heart and had a fairly flexible job. Mostly her work was done online across different timezones. Her dream was to travel for a year and WFA along the way, keeping her job and work commitments.

To test the theory, she sought approval for a two-week WFA experiment from snowy Japan.

At the time, I didn’t realise the impact that this would have on the future flexibility of work. In a puff of self-pity, I thought to myself, it’s nice for some but wouldn’t work for me. Now in hindsight, I wish I had been more supportive and seen the bigger picture.

Sadly I wasn’t the only one. On return, the success of her WFA experience was snuffed out along with any future WFA plans and workplace flexibility progression.

Global HQ intervened being fearful that everyone would suddenly up and leave. Based on lack of visibility and planning the WFA option was just not viable for the company.

After that, no one ever spoke of workplace flexibility, and worse, I started to wonder if the company really did value us as employees.

Now in 2020, after a forced change in perspective, we are in a position to try again on a global scale. The concept of a corporate workplace has been turned inside out and our eyes are now open to the possibility of real workplace flexibility.

As the story highlights, there is a tripping point. To make WFA stick it has to work for the company. So far there hasn’t been a strong solution for this long-term. Video conferencing and virtual checklists are not designed for or enough to ensure company-wide focus, productivity and measured success.

For WFA to compete with office favouritism, companies need; employee performance information, to be achieving quality results; and to find a way to connect both in person and virtually.

Huminate has a unique way of achieving this. The organisational platform allows companies to operate within a more natural structure which:

  • Focuses on team and individual contribution and accomplishments, not time at desk;
  • Allows everyone to get involved in company-wide initiatives based on their experience, interest and strengths; and
  • Provides oversight on collaboration and performance across team and individuals, work projects and locations.

For employees, Huminate takes work to the next level by personalising your experience and humanizing the office culture, it is a platform for you to:

  • Work in a dynamic, inclusive, open and entrepreneurial workplace culture;
  • Work on initiatives that match your unique skills;
  • Do the work you’re good at and enjoy.

Huminate removes the artificial organisation structure that we have created and the need for spending our entire lives working in an office cubicle. Having technology that gives both the company and employee a viable and purposely designed solution to work freely and productively is a much better fit for where we are now.

It is possible with Huminate to deliver focused results and build a positive, vibrant culture while navigating the ongoing workplace flexibility journey.

Anecdote shared with permission.

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