Why Home Office Is Not for Everyone

Why Home Office Is Not for Everyone

“One size fits all.”  Everybody has seen this tag on cheap clothes, but we know it isn’t true.  

In the same way, home office is not for everyone.  There are some people who can work anywhere, equally productive from an office desk, an airport lobby, or the end of the couch. For others, working remotely is difficult, and they rely on the structure and rhythm of an office.

There is no corporate benefit that stirs up more controversy than home office.  Sometimes it can seem as though this will be the first question asked with regards to an attractive job offer.  “Do you allow employees to work from home on Fridays,” candidates ask.  Employers might in turn think to themselves, “What would it look like here if everyone wanted home office?  We could close up shop!”  

Remote working is not a benefit nor an evasion– in truth, it is an indicator of the maturity of corporate culture and work organization. Only companies that can effectively manage their employees with corporate laptops on their knees are not afraid that they will not find out in time that the employee is loitering. At the same time, the best evaluator of work performance is the employee himself. They know when they are working hard, and they know when they are hardly working.  Ask yourself: Do you work as well at home as you do in the office?  

The hen or its predecessor – the egg – has it easier. There it is either or. There was always one house number in front of the mobile phone and the other “to work”. However, one telephone number is both a chicken and an egg. 

The mobility of the 1990s was the rise and fall of managers who were the first to feel the effects of full-time accessibility. Overworking was replaced by their younger brother’s reachability: burnout. It is easy for us to procrastinate, then we will burn out and we will not even have to leave the house for overwork.

Home office is no longer just a variant for introverts and all those freaks who “don’t leave the house”. It may have been foreshadowed by the arrival of freelancers, but remote working above all predicted something completely new — the “skillset of a modern boss”. Times have changed. In households, bosses as well as employees are slowly burning up. Why do bosses need to sit in their posh offices, designed to awe or even intimidate their visitors?  

Why would bosses sit in their offices according to the latest fashions, preferably with a genius loci and a “wow” effect? Everyone can now sit in offices that look the way the Google offices once looked in the photos in the attachments to our emails.

Thanks to the magic of virtual backgrounds, anyone can work in any “place” they want — in a nicely decorated office, on a Caribbean beach, or even floating in outer space.

In fact, why do we even need busy offices? After all, there will soon be no need for jobs as we know them! For the highest paid employees today, it doesn’t really matter where they have a keyboard and a monitor. Increasingly, we can do intellectual work anywhere and let robots do our manual work.

To take it a step further, our new “boss” will be technology.  Algorithms will automatically evaluate our working pace and send a message to our live manager, or perhaps they will just block access to the system upon sensing that we are not working.  Or perhaps technology will try using a carrot, rather than the stick.  Maybe robots will even try to entice us to work, and somehow subtly arouse in us an ancient desire to labor, so nicely defined by Kal Marx and Bedřich Engels.

They will automatically evaluate our domestic work pace, send a message to the only live boss to the US that we are not working, or perhaps block access to the system after three incidents where the system evaluates that we are not working. But actually why would they do it when there is a Shortage of people? Maybe robots will try to entice us to work! And somehow subtly aroused in us an ancient desire to work so nicely defined by Kal Marx and Bedřich Engels.

In modern practice, we work more and we work differently. We also communicate differently. 

There is no more need to talk about work in pubs, visit at home, fly across half the world and ring the bell there. The plot of the films is not a misunderstanding The work that we do is well-documented and everything is now clearly written, photographed, or a video is available. We keep in touch on the phone, by text, via Zoom, or over a business app.

When we communicate by email or text, we also have the advantage of taking our time to comprehend and consider the message, and only then send a well-thought answer.  Most communication, even in “non-digital organizations”, takes place digitally. Email, intranet, CRM, ERP, Slack, etc.  Whether they want to or not, organizations of every size will soon have to clearly state their position on remote working. There will be nowhere to take funds to raise wages. No one will be interested in a meal voucher or cafeteria. It will be the home office that will change the job market.

The accuracy of the message increases, those who do not understand the first time can take their time, find in peace everything they do not understand and only then answer. Quality interpersonal communication is a scarce item. Most communication, even in “non-digital organizations”, takes place digitally. Email, intranet, CRM, ERP, Slack … Whether they want to or not, all organizations will soon have to clearly declare their position on Homeoffice. With the double-digit wage growth rate that will catch up with us in 2019, they will have no other choice. There will be nowhere to take funds to raise wages. No one will be interested in a meal voucher or cafeteria. It will be the Homeoffice that will change the job market.