The risks of working in isolation

My true of working from home.

I fell necessary to make a distinction from home working and remote working. We were all remote working already unless you are on a farm, a factory on in a field, your work is performed remotely. Even if you are sat in your office, the action happens somewhere else. Indeed we managed to work from home with minimal disruption, we all have a laptop, we all have a connection. Working from home is not smart and is not remote working, so what is that? Working from home is working in isolation from your peers. With no doubt, there are upsides, no commuting, more sleeping, no time spent to dress and make up. Cost-saving for fuel and car wear, environmentally more friendly. Noticeable less traffic on the roads. However, if you live in a small house with kids trying to follow online school and your partner working like you from a laptop, it can be challenging. But, we are all master in time management, isn’t it?

Going back to the office or not?

If something appeared and became very clear during the pandemic, is the limitation of most of the companies set up. Great Opex in infrastructures and technical solutions resulted unnecessary because it has been proved people deliver from home too. The “Experts” publish articles daily drawing a future where offices will not exist anymore, the industry will never be the same, we are at the edge of a new era.

True and false at the same time. The period is too short, we are working form home since March only. There is not enough data over time to confirm it is possible to sustain home working. As Human being we are social, we grow up interacting, we develop ideas by confrontation. The office is a necessary routine to maintain sanity. Maybe not every day, maybe more flexibility is required and certainly possible, but meet, discuss and work together is part of our nature. Our brain needs the discipline of the stimulus to create paths.

How our performances will deteriorate over time?

Our mind is a piece of complicated machinery, very high demanding in energy consumption and very easy to burn out. Certain areas need to be properly stimulated to activate. Over time I have learned I can use this to my advantage: to be analytical? I play RUBIK’S cube for 15 minutes; to be creative? I start to draw on a piece of paper with pencils and colours. This is something I started years ago and passed to many of my colleagues and always with a very positive response. With exercises, you can focus your thought and use a particular brain architecture to solve a problem. To do that you need control and concentration, difficult to achieve at home. The level of focus you can reach in the office, because you are in the office, cannot be replicated at home a part some few instances. Alienation is behind the corner. The number of distraction centuplicated.

The worst enemy is behind your home walls.

There is one thing a company cannot afford to lose, that thing that makes the difference between success and failure. Motivation! Working from home all the time will lead to shifting the reason why you work, from loyalty and values to salary only. At home you will not socialize, you will lose the sense of being part of a group, you will be not interested in other people wellbeing. The only focus will be you, your family and that four walls around you. Everything else will be accepted as long happen outside your home.

A possible solution?

I advocate flexibility, people should come to the office when they feel they need to come to the office, to meet their team, to brainstorm. Still maintaining a minimum of hours of presence. The company should be more focused on using this shared time together to foster loyalty, sense of unity, purpose. Motivated people will always deliver, no matter where are they deployed.

Control measures are required.

What really will change is the evaluation of people performance. Appraisals, as we know, should disappear. They should have gone times ago even before the pandemic. This is the time to evaluate a man for the contribution he put in the hours and not for how many hours he put in the day.

I believe in H.O.P.E. Helping Others Pursuing Excellence