Sometimes I hope that the Olympic Games will be a real catalyst of changes to the workplace. Most London based companies will only have skeleton staff in their offices and will have set up systems and solutions to continue to trade successfully with the majority of their employees working from home. Hopefully a positive experience during the Olympic games might trigger a more fundamental shift in the world of work.
Surely, this will be beneficial on several dimensions: The employee will perform much better as he/she can work more in accordance to their own physical and psychological preferences, be it when they work, or what temperature they work in (apparently a really important element for performance, according to John Sumser). There’ll be no commuting, therefore having more disposable income and more time (which is a really big ticket item given that “money is the currency of the economy and time is the currency of life” – Subi Rangan).
Companies will benefit as they will have better performing employees, but also as they can shrink the required office space. Furthermore they’ll become a more flexible and global organisation. It opens up talent pools right across the world, with physical boundaries and catchment areas becoming a thing of the past. It will shake up old control structures and will make companies nimbler, more agile and better able to compete on a global scale.
Communities will benefit thanks to a renewed focus on local life. As most of us require and enjoy social interaction, shared workspaces (besides the current freelancer hangout Starbucks) will be created, potentially offering some managed services. And as more time and money is spent, the local economy and community will prosper. Wealth would be spread across the entire nation (and potentially the globe); it will ease the pressure on the transport network as well as making London a more affordable location and the UK a more competitive nation.
Years ago the term Glocal (global & local) was all the rage, now with the available technology and an open mindset we can make it a reality. Everybody’s a winner, especially as it would surely spread swiftly beyond London.