The Changing Workplace, The Envisioners

A great post from The Envisioners’ Dave Coplin which draws on the Hybrid Organisation studies which Microsoft coordinated earlier this year.

Another point which is implicit, rather than explicit, in the Hybrid Organisation work is how patterns of employment are changing. Enabled by technology, and driven by, on the organisation’s side, an ever-increasing desire for agility, flexibility and efficiency, organisations are exploring different models of engaging people to do work. This includes increased flexible working for traditional employees and greater use of short-term contract/consultant resources. On the individual’s side, this maps to increased desire for flexibility and control over our lives. Older workers are being offered variations on flexible / retainer contracts; younger workers – as highlighted in the Hybrid Organisation papers – are seeking greater control, greater variety and greater flexibility.  Technology, and good organisational design, enable this agility to the benefit of all.  

As Dave observes, the challenge is for organisations to re-design their structures and measurement systems to ensure that they can capitalise on the opportunity presented.  Our parents’ world of employees at work, on site, under direct supervision (and preferably clocking in and out each day) does not afford the agility which is now being sought by individuals and which can deliver real, and very green, results for organisations.

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