The days of employees wanting one company to provide them with 40 years of job security, a pension and a side of gold watch have been over for some time.
Today’s workers (read: Millennials with intelligence, education and a taste for travel who value quality of life over money) crave challenging work, an ever changing environment, and the freedom that includes time for both significant work and serious play. With it being projected that Millennials will comprise nearly half the workforce by 2020, now is an opportune time to take a look at what the new office looks like and how working virtually provides an optimal work/life balance.
FREEDOM, FLEXIBILITY AND JOB WELL DONE
Results are what matter. The new office has nothing to do with place or even time in some instances. What it is about, is production. With the ability to work from anywhere that has strong wi-fi, no one cares if an employee skateboarded into a coffee shop with shorts and a backwards cap on. He’s there to put the final hours of collaborative touches into the deck he and his colleagues are creating for tomorrow’s presentation. All they will be concerned with is the success of the deck in tomorrow’s presentation.
That independence comes hand in hand with results based responsibility. They are inextricable partners. Freedom and production. Just as much as managers would rather guide an enthusiastic employee than babysit one with a poor work ethic, we all would would rather get the work done well, leave before 5pm and catch a film with our friends or make our son’s after-school baseball game.
That freedom and our lives are now contingent on being able to enjoy the fruits of our labor when we have completed a job well done. It is up to us how to divide our time on a daily basis. Provided success continues to be at the forefront of our effort, our time can be managed as we see fit.
LIFE IS ABOUT TIME AND THE PEOPLE YOU SHARE IT WITH
The things that make us human are the things we share. We share emotion and effort. Ideas and love. Food and experience. Time and passion. Life is also about choice and commitment. These things don’t exist without the others and certainly don’t stop and start when you decide. They are always there and always in play.
A great idea strikes when and where it’s time is right. Your child’s arm, gravity and the just too far monkey bar conspire against your productive efforts when they see fit. The starts and stops and ups and downs of life don’t have a venue or a time table and now work doesn’t either. We have production and rest. Work and play. Those activities are becoming unbound by technology to fit more naturally into our daily time table and the rhythm and malleable structure our lives provide.
THE WORLD IS THE OFFICE
We can now join our co-workers in a fevered discussion about company direction or provide logistic support for an exasperated client as we look out a train window at a placid rural scene.
We can connect face to face with our amazing co-workers and collaborators from thousand of miles apart and share in that rich experience of satisfying work from the comfort of our own home or a bustling coffee shop in New York City.
Working daily from a different venues and benefiting from the creative and mentally stimulating fuel that comes with all travel is now ripe for the taking.
Productivity, happiness, exciting and stimulating work, thoughtful and caring co-workers. These are all now mandatory features of a working environment that also includes physical freedom and the will to use it as you see fit.
The office world has become a free form sandbox with limits only on imagination and our ability to build magnificent castles. And who would want it any other way?