The Future of Work

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not fighting the old, but on building the new.

Category: Uncategorised

Rules? No, what you need is trust and openness

In a recent article for The Scotsman a business lawyer suggested we need rules for use of smart phones in the workplace.

Such backward facing thinking is not uncommon when it comes to new technology, but it is absolutely what businesses don’t need, now or in the future. I recall a debate at one of my employers around 8 years ago as blogging was becoming more popular. Should the business impose a ban on blogging in relation to the industry we operated in? My argument (which thankfully prevailed) was that the act of blogging made me think about things more deeply and consider the bigger picture. The same can be said about social media use.

If you promote a professional culture of trust, and openness then you do not need to impose rules over use of technology. You trust your workforce to make a judgement on what is acceptable use, and you trust them to get their job done. If they aren’t committed to delivering, then you have a bigger issue, no matter what it is that is preventing them from doing so.

And if you have a culture of openness and honesty then you can raise any issue, smartphone use or other, with out the need for rules to call upon.

The future of work involves openness, respect and trust. Draconian use of rules and restrictions only produces a culture of distrust and ‘work to rule’ from the employees side.

The clock is ticking to a world without employees

Imagine a world without employees. The same commercial world we live in now, but where everyone works for themselves and chooses who to contract their time out to.

As extreme as it sounds it feels as if this could be a reality if you look far enough into the future. The generations which are starting to dominate the global working have a passion for freedom. In recent surveys 27% of students planned to start their own business before they had even finished university, and another found Alice Weightman, founder of freelance platform
recent article for Minute Hack
that 65% of the UK labour market will consist of contractors by 2020. Thats just 5 years away.

But change like this obviously doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time, infrastructure, process review and overall a change of mindset about how businesses are run. So what are you going to do in the next 5 years to adapt to a future without employees?

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