Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, it’s Off to Work We Don’t Go
Yesterday’s budget initially provoked a sobering reminder that most people of a similar age to me (in their twenties), wont be at a pensionable age until we’re at least 70 years old, a reality of a country laden with debt and an ageing population.
It got me thinking about what work will be like when we’re at that age, and the peculiarities of it – will technology replace a lot of jobs? Will the average cleaner be earning circa £500,000 a year? And will we be exchanging our pre-rehearsed ‘the train was late’ excuse for “sorry boss, my driver-less car took the wrong turning or my James Bond-esque jet pack wouldn’t start…again!” Will we need to even turn up at the office at all? Probably not, but then, do the majority of us need to turn up at the office now to do an honest days work? Probably not!
The way we work now is based on an old fashioned way; turning up at the same time every day, smartly dressed, sitting at your desk for eight hours a day – conforming to the processes, structure and control of your employers. Admittedly, part of me feels nothing can beat ‘being there’ for building culture and camaraderie within a company, yet the benefits of ‘not being there’ vastly out weigh this.
Building a more diverse workforce is one of the positives – where age, gender, nationality and disability are pushed aside. Besides, there have been numerous examples in recent times were cultures, morale, networking and professional relationships have been developed through technology.
Working from home or anywhere but the office obviously raises a question of trust for employers – many would be uncomfortable without having such control and would question productivity – but should it? If you doubt your employees’ integrity, should you have even hired them in the first place?
Not before too long, flexible ways of working will undoubtedly become commonplace, and as internal communicators, we may have more of a job on our hands – we should start to embrace it now.