Working from home: Discovering new opportunities
The world is at pause today!! It’s not life & business as usual for many humans & corporates. Looks like nature is reclaiming its status back. Abruptly events are unfolding with astounding speed, the most trendy managerial acronym: VUCA is undergoing its trial, both challenges & opportunities had to smack us without discernible warning.
With many countries in the world under lockdown due to the corona outbreak, the empty streets and towns are a sight to behold. India looks unrecognizable as 1.3billion and 1/5 of the world population stay locked in homes while nature takes over.
Unrehearsed as a capability:
The corporate world has fastened its entry in the idea of “Organized chaos” & “Conspiracy theory”. Corporate world & stalwarts are sharing their best analogy to replace fear with hope. I think the term VUCA was never put to test so mercilessly with the paucity of time & bureaucracy around. India was perplexed and caught on the wrong foot, never expecting that the government of India would forecast and take a faster decision than the private firms. Organizations who are designed to be stable, organizations whose mindset reflects that the efficiency reign in a stable world with no surprises were “Stupid together”. It has everything you’d expect a triage situation to be.
Disaster is a great clarifier, but we have realized that chaos brings its discipline and structure to the madness. By now people have mastered to keep calm to take high octane breaking news of the world. Many are washing hand and many were caught washing hand off their responsibilities and accountability, whilst I name these days as unprecedented, unchartered & uncertain times
There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen rightly quoted by Russian Revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. Today more than 70% of people across the world are working from home and some corporates being forced to ask people to work from home. I am sure some systems are already creaking at the edges & some trust banks are running dry. In such a crisis, the path between corporate denial and redundancies is often a short one.
The journey from data to information:
Today organizations and people have entered the uncharted zone, very high chances of massive decisions being taken last fortnight, decisions were taken on raw data than a piece of validated information. All decisions were weighing more on the risk and highly volatile side. Some corporate houses may have realized working from home can be a reasonable accommodation and some businesses will have a hard time arguing that working in the office is always required when it’s not required right now. Topical dealing with an immediate issue are very temporal, for those exposed to its rough edges, Corona is not going to flatten soon, it has a crown and is going to rule us for a while, it has an expansionist imperium as a value in it.
It would be a sweet realization for many corporates that people can work from home remotely. Some corporates would have learnt the meaning of their Chartered “Values” which they have been quoting for decades. Some organizations could have fallen back on their values in this difficult time. Today all generation leaders have realized micromanagement was a wrong bet. It is all about making feels accountable and they all show up with good intentions. The time has come to ground the expectations, in the reality of the work.
Crapehanger – Dilute your boundaries to build a fresh one
Socializing was never so injurious to our health as today; We are in a strange situation where we must be apart to come together as civil society. Apart physically to be together in limiting this crisis.” Social distancing is the term profusely used to distance from Virus, but emotionally connecting with people and organization still thrives and is the soul of any organization. The artefacts designed to build culture is in asking if it was built on the bedrock of peer-to-peer accountability.
Leaders, this is the time to make yourself vulnerable, understand a big-picture synthesis of the situation and a plan to deal with it, this would not be a safe zone or ZOPA (Zone of possible/potential agreement). The real Hero of lockdown would be the one who wears the resilient cap and who dissolved their boundaries & ego. This could have been the moment of truth for many leaders to see the whole system and have schematic & systemic view – through informed democratic dialogue, the moment that would have replaced or shifted many opinions and perspectives.
Today our prudence is on the test, corporates have taken some unprecedented steps, but these are unprecedented times. We cannot envisage the course of events or their impacts for Covid-19, but we can envision plausible downside scenarios and test resilience under these circumstances.
What would be the world post COVID :
Relationships between countries would not be the same, dependability quotient would be checked. Also, there is one section of society who believe understanding the Dirty index of India, Covid19 would rest in peace in India and won’t leave much impact. Economic historians quibble over the exact consequences of covid19. We, too, are faced with ballooning of debt to wage a war on the pandemic even if a few thousands would put our economy back by some years.
Employees would be missing their office surely, I hope the urge to work from home has been tested and pacified by now. People would love coming to the office. Wiser corporate may rethink the decision of office space and control. They would start believing that with a bit of more effort on communication, work can happen remotely too. Some corporate would also try to match up with the Loss on this with layoff or pay cut later. Crime rates may go up in need of work & money in some section of society. The business would get more innovative and so as people, the competition would further deepen. This journey is going to be a myth spoiler and travel all the way to enlightenment.