luni, 16 aprilie 2012


Globalisation, technological and management style developments adds flexibility to people’s way of working.

Now, in two clicks, the person in the office is in contact with his business contacts, acquaintances and friends (email, Skype, Facebook, etc.); read their favourite newspaper without problem, as most are online; book flight tickets (e-commerce is more & more important); and listen to their favourite radio station (headphones are already normal in the office). There are also cases where one doesn’t even need to come to the office and can work from home.

The vision of the manager is important as well, how much ‘freedom’ he allows his employees, and how he behaves in relation with people reporting to him. The old mentality of working – when it was still an ‘obligation’ or ‘punishment’ to actually work – needs to be drastically reviewed by both employer and employee. However, there is a bit of a crisis of ideas on world level regarding this topic.

It’s still the case that you work 8 hours a day, and that the boss sees you in front of the computer. This approach is inefficient and frustrating when work focuses on project-based work – which can allow much more flexibility to the individual to for example decide to do some training alongside your job, or to have kids, etc. These things are just very difficult to do in a fixed 9-5 environment.

It is imperative to leave these people to go on Wikipedia, Facebook, Youtube, Skype and to let them read whatever newspaper they find relevant. They know their deadlines and will finish their tasks on time – just leave them their space.

Plus, this kind of method will give the possibility of people becoming ‘intrapreneurs’, people who take initiatives inside an established structure. They are therefore not really part of the fixed structure.

I’m not a person who likes a lot of internal and/or coordination meetings per day to replace the bad management, or to ultra-coordinate and control my employees. I say: give them the flexibility that exists. After all, you hire them to bring added value to the company, so give them the mandate to do that.

At the same time: of course you don’t need to have the manager to be out of the picture, and see his team only a few times per month. He/she needs to find a balance, because without any involvement of the manager, a team moves into the ‘danger’-zone, and in business this would be a disaster.

Dan LUCA / Brussels

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