The Future Of Work
Don't Always Believe What You Read - It Isn't Clear
Last week, I wrote about the imbalance between Corporations and People in Corporations Might Be People. It was a US-centric piece, but I don’t think it is that different in many other countries.
Over on LinkedIn, Mark asked;
What is the continuum you see the future of work taking to this point?
I will get to that, but I have purposely not answered the question for now. In fact writing that article got me thinking more about where work is done and its overlap with where value is delivered.
We ‘all’ ‘generally’ live at ‘a place’ called ‘home’ and we ‘all’ ‘generally’ go to ‘work’ in ‘another building’.
In the ‘old’ days, we commuted to a place of work, selling our time to the tune of 40 hours per week. If you were at home, you weren’t working. If you were at work, you were 1. The advent of computers caused a significant imbalance in that equation, leading to the need for things like ‘Work-Life Balance’ - which is an altogether different topic that I have written about before and will avoid diving into now.
The challenge had been there for years and largely ignored until we found ourselves in a global pandemic, which over the past two years, resulted in a lot of people coming to realize that not everyone needs to be at their ‘place of work’ to ‘do their job’.
But, even in the ‘old’ days, it was accepted that some roles might require you not to be at your place of work to do your job and that hasn’t changed.
A salesperson for example. Do you want them sitting in your place of work or your customer’s place of work?
Many such roles don’t fit the status quo.
Many roles in all walks of life not only don’t necessitate you to be at a place of work, they require you to be elsewhere. How else does a taxi work? How would a plumber, or a dog walker do their work without the need to be elsewhere? So for some roles, we have come to expect that there is work that goes on that will take you ‘out of the office’.
But what are the ‘rules’?
This is why I don’t talk about where you spend your time - but rather where you create your value. Consider this simple matrix that explores
Where you work on the x-axis.
Where you deliver value on the y-axis.
The matrix can be used to map how you might typically think about the work you do and where you add value. I have thrown in some clear examples, like a ‘hairdresser’, who is typically at a place of work - but in fact, the value can be delivered anywhere.
But not so fast.
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