Now more than ever we are drawn together by invisible, global ties. Connections erase time and space limits, which travel from a macro-space made of optical fiber, routers and nodes of complex networks directly into the intimate micro-spaces of our homes.
Like never before, Free Mind Foundry is relying on connections made possible by digital bridges.
The global emergency we are facing is forcing us to work from home, completely changing our personal and professional habits. We abruptly had to rearrange our personal work space and our schedule to adapt them to a new way of living and working, compelling us to deal with both the positive and the tricky aspects of smart working.
Understanding the meaning of smart working is not as intuitive as it is believed. It has been defined as a new how-to-go based on giving people flexibility and autonomy in reaching goals. It is an organizational model that intervenes in the relationship between individuals and companies.
Besides being a functional work model, which is incrementally adopted by companies, smart working represents a positive solution in emergency cases, such as the one we are globally facing because of COVID-19. Obviously, smart working cannot stop the pandemic, but it can lessen the economic and social repercussions this emergency might cause. It allows people to keep on doing business virtually and remotely.
A tricky aspect about smart working consists in the fact that it is not just a simple corporate welfare initiative: it presupposes a path of profound cultural change and requires an evolution of the corporate organizational models. That means that it actually takes a certain time-span for a company to adapt itself to this new operational paradigm, a resource that the sudden break out of the pandemic did not allow for.
So, what are the basic hints which indicate that smart working will actually “work”? Companies must make sure they comply to three principles:
- They have built trust between managers and employees. The relationship must be based on reliability rather than on control.
- They leverage smart collaborative technologies rather than rigid communication systems such as emails, so to make workers able to interact immediately with one another.
- They make sure their employees have all the right tools to be fully operational from their homes.
Finally, for companies to be fully efficient while its employees work from home, it takes a reconsideration of the old business models which have to be reshaped towards the frontiers of change management. This new approach places the single individual at the center of the organization, aiming to make personal and professional objectives converge. Thus, granting a greater corporate productivity.
On the other hand, the global emergency we are experiencing is unveiling another important aspect which is not purely professional: smart working grants a direct connection with our colleagues not just as professionals but as people, too. Our managers and co-workers are not engineers, developers, sales and project managers only, they are men and women, fathers and mothers. Through video calls we virtually enter into each other’s kitchens or living rooms, we get to know our co-worker’s significant others who might casually pass by the screen or their kids suddenly popping out of the pc camera. We are seeing them in tracksuits and without any infrastructure, because at home you don’t need to be someone.
Unexpectedly, this global emergency is bringing people together. It is highlighting how (smart) working depends on digital connections, nourished by humans anyway. It is underscoring how we have to individually do our part so that together we can overcome the challenge as a team and as a company.
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