By Felix Spender
Think back to June 2007.
You would have had a perfectly good mobile phone. Most probably a Nokia 3310 or for the more up market a Blackberry. You were content. Then came the iPhone, heralding the start of the smartphone revolution, and your world was changed. You witnessed a communications revolution.
The same is now going on in the workplace. For years businesses struggled to achieve a balance between the needs of the organisation and those of the individual. Flexible working and working from home were found on the periphery but the majority commuted to a central hub for fixed hours.
COVID-19 blew all that out of the water when businesses dispersed to survive. Remote and flexible working became the norm and a Deloitte’s survey found that 61% of desk based workers would prefer to work from home more often. The question now is, what model do you adopt for the future? Do you go backwards to how it was before the pandemic, your old comfort zone, or do you go forward to something new? Stick with the Nokia 3310 or get a smartphone.
There are 3 basic models on the shelf which you can customise to suit your business needs.
A centralised model, with synchronised working patterns, will still exist but there will be much greater flexibility built into the system.
A remote model that is completely distributed, operating asynchronously with an output-based culture.
Hybrid model that combines elements of the other 2 models. It provides a physical central hub for key services while allowing employees greater flexibility and autonomy as to how they manage their work.
Your current operating model is most probably the one you went to in survival mode. Now you need to create a sustainable and resilient model that will enable you to power up and out of the trough. Which model is best for you? That depends on how you want to balance the needs of the leader, the task, the team and the individuals.
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