Can one stay productive and professional while being at the cutting edge of digital transformation? Next week we will debate the future of work at Cutting Edge, Norways largest Tech Festival.
Written by Meri Sorgaard, Marketing Manager at appear.in
The definition of “office” is no longer limited to a cubicle and is no longer restricted to a physical space. Working from home or from co-working spaces has become more common than ever, but along with it has come a general divide about whether it is as effective as office-based work.
Firstly, we can't just stop coming into work, and that's not the point I'm trying to argue in this blogpost and debate. However, to some degree, it's tempting to believe that the physical (and horrid cubicle) office will become redundant in the future and that it has nothing to do with productiveness and productivity. Certainly there will (always?) be a need and value to physical workplaces for some industries and companies. And surely, I would get a bit worried if all the doctors at the local hospital decided to work remotely from Goa. Nevertheless and hopefully, the office culture and it's impact on human institutionalisation and urban planning is going to change even further for the sake of the environment, our mental health and private lives.
Secondly, from my point of view as a remote worker, the no-ffice, or "future of work" is not about getting rid of the workplace, but about looking differently at work culture, office space, collaboration and leadership. To put it on the edge – If we manage to become more clever about the way we work, the highways will be there for the cars that save lives, and not the cars commuting through the urban areas 2-4 times a day. Furthermore, the future of work is about adapting to a culture that the future generation searches. The laptop lifestyle and digital nomad trend is growing – and attracting the talent you probably want to hire for success and growth in your company. Successful Companies like Skyscanner, Trello, Zapier and Hotjar already encourage their employees to collaborate in a new and more remote way. InVision App, The world's leading prototyping, collaboration & workflow platform even have statements like this in their job listings, because they know what young talented people want:
Whether you’re at a beach house in Hawaii or a coffee shop on the East Coast, you’ll have the support of brilliant developers to help you grow and to keep the workday challenging and fun. – InVision App job listing on weworkremotely.com
As entrepreneurs, leaders, founders and investors I believe we have to try to be less scared of this change and start adapting like some companies already have done with success. The technology is already here and we have to take part of the digital transformation to stay attractive and even responsible. Underlining that adapting means different "points on the scale" for different industries, and that it takes time for every company to change into an effective remote culture. When I asked Elin Nørve, founder and CEO of Future Leaders, what she thinks will be the most important skills of a leader in 2030, her answer was interesting.
I think key skills of a future leader is to be able to handle a never ending road of new developments; both within technology, biotech, AI, etc. but most of all the effect that these tools will have on our society, and understanding how to change together with the development and don't resist it. I also believe that we will see leaders taking responsibility for the SDG's as we simply won't have any other opportunities than to care more for our environment and sustainability in all fields. – Elin Nørve, Founder & CEO
I think Elin is right about everything. And it makes me even more excited about that we went all in on a remote culture at appear.in a year ago. The freedom we were given didn't mean people stopped coming to the office and that we became inefficient. It meant we come in if we want to (and some people do)! While some go for weekly or monthly trips where they bring work along, others work from coworking spaces around Oslo or the other side of the country. We even have a Customer Support Manager in the US and an engineer in Spain at the moment. Is it as effective as when we all worked from a common office space? Yes it is! — I believe I can answer on behalf of the appear.in team when saying that! Myself, I have been to the office once in the last month (and I've never been this productive).
Want to join us and our partner Huddly for an-hour long debate about the future of work? Get your tickets for Cutting Edge Festival on September 26th in Oslo. If you can't attend, the event will be live streamed and recorded.