Now that the COVID Pandemic is over, what’s gonna happen to knowledge workers? Will managers force them back to the office? Or will people push back and demand flexibility? Who wins?
Tomorrow my friend Mike St. Pierre is organizing a very cool virtual conference: Non-profit Productivity Summit where yours truly (that’s me!) will be speaking again about hybrid work, explaining the Pyramid of Communication and more. Below you’ll find some spoilers from my talk and an invitation to sign up for the summit! It’s free and there are many other cool speakers lined up!
Before the covid pandemic hit I was promoting Nozbe’s way of working - our #NoOffice lifestyle. However people were skeptical about it. They’d pull out the it’s good for you but it won’t work for me argument. Now that the pandemic is basically over, some companies are reluctant to keep working remotely and I believe that the ones that will insist on strictly going to the office will eventually lose, however they keep brining up the same arguments:
I recently watched an interview (embedded below) with key Apple execs - Craig Federighi and Greg Jozwiak - done by the Wall Street Journal and the part that really interested me was their stance on #NoOffice work. Well, it hasn’t changed much since I wrote about it a few months back (the action starts at 23 min 45 sec in):
I just came back from our semi-annual Nozbe Reunion and when talking to my team and other people around me I realized that flexible workplace is inevitable. I mean, if you want to hire the best, they will demand flexibility when it comes to both WHEN and WHERE. When they do the work (flexible working hours) and where they do it (in the office, at home or hybrid). Companies that won’t offer this kind of agency to their team members will lose. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but soon. Sooner rather than later.
There’s a management technique “old-school office managers” use which is called “management by walking around”. As a “#NoOffice company” I cannot do that, but what I can do and what I recommend you to start doing is this: “meeting by walking around”. Basically, when you’re having a meeting, go out for a walk and have it while walking around:
Thinking again about Apple’s resistance to letting people have flexibility to work from home and their cringy ad that inspires people to quit, one thought keeps coming back to me. Some adults (bosses) don’t get it, that adults they work with (employees) should be treated as adults (who can make their own decisions). Why is this not a common situation?
I already wrote about Apple’s not-so-good approach to working form home in the past (I also recorded a short video on that), but now as COVID-19 cases are declining Apple is really shooting itself in the foot. On one hand, it’s telling them to go back to the office (or else!) while at the same time it’s producing an ad that they’d better quit:
Last year I read a blog post by Matt Mullenweg - the founder of Wordpress where he explained his high-quality streaming setup - he revised this post this year with more updates. Later I read a similar post by Seth Godin. As I do quite a few interviews, record podcasts and have some zoom meetings with my Nozbe team, I decided to upgrade my setup, too. I explained some of it in my latest “office update” post but here are more details:
Now that I’ve written the No Office book a few months back, it’s time to start promoting it and spreading the word. I published a summary of part 2 of the book a while back and now I recorded it on video for you to enjoy and get excited about the book!