As long as there been people working in offices, their tools and office spaces have evolved for the better. There is one area though where time has stood almost still, and it is our perception of the office itself. To a lot of people, work is a physical place that you go to and not something you do, and this adds to the theory that you need to be at a specific place to perform your work, may it be writing novels, writing code or answering emails.
With the tools and technology of today, especially after the mobile revolution (smart phones, tablets ultra-books), the office worker 2.0 is well-equipped to work from anywhere he or she desires. Technology like Direct Access, Lync, Skype and the Cloud allows for communication with colleagues enabling you to be working on the same items even if you and your teammates are physically separated. The option to work from literally anywhere that has internet opens up for a lot of benefits:
- Being able to get the personal life puzzle to fit together
- Work from a remote location to shut out distractions to focus on your work
- Save time from commuting to and from the office
- Change in scenery and work from a location you find inspiring
- Lower environmental foot print from reduced traveling
- More flexible office spaces
The change is happening, and more and more people sees the benefit to be in charge of their own location. A few years ago Microsoft in Sweden announced “Work from home day” where they urged people working in offices to work from home at a specific date. This move was to enlighten the masses of the possibility to work remote from the office. Of course Microsoft wants to sell products enabling this, but their reasoning is sound.
So, if this has been afoot for a couple of years, why are we still trapped in rush hour traffic and sit in the same chair every day? My personal theory is that a lot of organizations are afraid of letting go and giving power to the worker – despite the fact that a lot of them have the latest technology for enabling this. It is easier to rely on policies stating that you have to be on location and sticking to the mentality “this is how we’ve always done it” other than to explore new ways of working.
Will 2014 be the year where managers and CIOs will be bold enough to enable the rise of the office worker 2.0 and realizing that the work is something produced and not a place you arrive at?
About Johan Bjärneryd
Johan Bjärneryd is a solutions architect that joined Sogeti Sweden in 2011. Since then he has worked with different customers in different sectors. 2012 Johan was appointed as national driver for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 in Sweden and he leads the mobility competence network in his home region.
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