Founder’s Club

WHERE IS MY CORNER OFFICE ?

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Change of workstations and styles are altering the way cultures and structures are built in organisations.

Business Cultures across the world are witnessing a sea change in the way work styles are changing. Millenials are an emerging or new set of growing workforce. These young adults also known as the Generation Next, Netizens, Generation Y, Hyper Networked Generation etc are creating new work patterns. The way they are using the web technologies is adding to the way business environments are observed and organizational behavior is studied and all other things related to the way these groups contribute to organization’s overall growth and objectives.

Internet of things has revolutionized the way technology is used and work is performed. In a SAAS or Cloud storage world, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and Small Office Home Office (SOHO) or SOHO-SMB terms are replacing the traditional ‘Corner Office’ or ‘Conference rooms’ terminology. Organisations are turning into lean enterprises to avoid high operational costs of rentals or maintaining a large workforce within the office premises. In a shared economy today, virtual offices and moonlighting concepts are not alien anymore.

The structure and process of work is under a transformation triggered by digital office upgrades. Work has grown more complex intellectually and collaboration is necessary to arrive at desired output, social skills and networks are increasing growing popular and inevitably significant, mobility in terms of working from any gadget or device is not a limiting factor vis-a-vis geographical spread. The organizations are not too much worried about specific place or time, it the work itself that should be engaging and defining for an individual to stay interested. It is challenging for businesses to respond and innovate for the smart generation incorporating varied work styles that also encourage work fluidity. While Startups bring with them a different breed of workforce and culture that contributes to overall dynamics of how the organization responds or behaves. While they appear more accommodating to work styles, traditional companies may do better with slight intervention of behavioral experts.

Hierarchies in structure are pulled off; companies have turned lenient and agile with regard to flexibility in time and place, workspaces have no or minimal walls to enable internal collaboration and working relationships. There are conscious efforts towards making the workplace less stressing and overall conducive to an individual’s mental and physical well being. For the outside audience, the deliverables are more focused on driving valued customer perspective, competitive strategy and differential advantage.

While the churning of fresh talent is resulting in workstations flying out of the office windows, behavioral changes are inevitable. Companies must gear up for providing flexible work yet maintaining the standard of quality without compromising adherence to processes and performance deliveries. Three cardinal rules companies must follow to be able to meet this critical balance is:

  • Screen Objectively

pic2The flexible work is not an absolute right but requests for such must be met with a fair amount of discretion and reasonable thinking. The changes as expected by the applicant must be communicated well, preferably in writing. It must spell out reasons clearly and the effect it may have on the employer, team or organization as a whole. If there are business reasons to reject a request including inability to reorganize work, meet customer demands or add value to overall growth as a committed employee then it should be explained well. The merits of allowing flexibility must be weighed with prudence.

  • Is it permanent or temporary?

If you have allowed the workstation to go portable, it is better a time period is also defined. It sets the expectations and maintains a healthy employer – employee relationship. If the terms of employment and the compensation have changed and, it must be easy for the applicant to go back to the original terms if he may like so.

  • Is it allowed for some or all?

There must be no obligation to make any discrimination or priorities for applicants; it must be purely on merit of how flexibility to an individual impacts or affects business. A trial period may though come as a handy option before the final decision is made.There have been studies across the world to prove that flexible employees are a happier lot, working environments will continue to change, and with ease of access to technology, employers must find seamless ways to embrace the portable workstation demands.

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