It’s such a conundrum. Work for myself, most likely pay myself zero, all the flexibility in the world. Work for someone else, with the comfort of financial security, but must be within eyesight at all time… and instantly feel guilty if I’m running 15 minutes late for work!
Now obviously I’m generalising and there are certainly companies out there advocating for flexible working, walking the talk, implementing new initiatives, striving for outputs over attendance, but even to those of you in this bucket I ask, “If I delivered on my outputs to the highest of standards, but from a sailboat in the Mediterranean, would that be okay?” Could be wrong, but I doubt it.
And why not? Is it a lack of trust or belief in my capability? Is it because you don’t have a yacht and therefore I shouldn’t work from mine? Is it because of some outdated ergonomics policy that puts it in the “too hard” basket? Is it because, “It’s just not the done thing”? All of which seem like inadequate responses to me.
In this age of productivity, continuous improvement, cost cutting and doing more with less, I challenge you, “Why can’t I work from anywhere I like?”
A recent survey by FlexCareers shows the vast majority of employees would be happy to take less money for added flexibility and it’s not gender specific. We have but one life to get out there, to see the world, to experience everything on offer, to watch our children learn and grow (in more than 4 weeks of annual leave). With mental health issues on the rise and our lives so full of information we can never switch off isn’t it time for something radical before we all turn into robots…..or are replaced by them?
I heard someone speak the other day about his dream to utilise technology to a point where the office could be removed, all 100 staff could work remotely and employees would bid for work. A job board where, if you’ve got some time today you can put your hand up for the work, but if you’re busy (lunching in Portofino) you can take the day off. Turning the office into a freelancer marketplace that would mean reduced overheads for the company, no rent, only paying staff when they’re utilised, most likely paying them less for the added flexibility they’re afforded.
Not 100% sure I agree with the last part – if I’m doing the same job, pay me the same money, but would I work for less if you let me work from my sailboat? Absolutely!