Work will find its own level

Reading Time: 2 minutes

For all the debate over work from home, or work from anywhere, or hybrid work, or return to the office because the Emperor of Mars says so, none of us – not even Elon Must – will control what happens.

(It doesn’t matter what your opinion is about WFH, imperial decree with threats of firing is not how you build a healthy culture. If Musk thinks work outside the office is so unproductive, I assume he is fully in support of phones off and PCs down as soon as they’re out the door.)

 

Water will find its own level.

The mix of remote and office will find its own optimum. Since it’s a human characteristic, it’s likely to be near a normal distribution from 0 days to 5 days (6 in some countries).

 

WFA means work from anywhere: home, a close-to-home co-working space, a cafe, a client, or even the normal office for those individuals who prefer it.  WFA is the individual’s choice.
I assert – with no evidence except common sense – that the distribution of number of days WFA per week, across the population, over all jobs and industries,  will probably be a normal distribution except with a big spike at 0 days for those who require physical contact with their work every day.

Every team in every organisation should find their own place on this curve as an emergent compromise of all stakeholder needs. Be like water.

 

“because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve glimpsed another way of working. We’ve experienced a greater sense of autonomy and equality in our work, and we’ve gained a new level of control over our lives and lived experiences. And so we… face a choice. Do we go back to the way things were—to the dominator hierarchies that have constituted our daily reality for nearly all of our lives? Or do we move forward into a new world, one grounded in partnership and equality and centered around a radical collaboration that flows from the intrinsic motivation of peers and the free commitments of participants?”

 

– Matt K. Parker , A Radical Enterprise