Distributed Work: Making Time for Face-to-Face Communication

Author’s Note: While face-to-face communication is currently not necessarily safe, perhaps until a vaccine or effective treatment is found for the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it’s worth contemplating how companies might cope in the near-term future with new organisational and operating structures to take the trend of remote work into account.

Models for Distributed or Remote Work have grown side-by-side with the Digital Age. The recent Covid-19 pandemic has forced a more rapid shift towards distributed or remote work due to stay-at-home orders across the globe.  With ongoing uncertainty caused by this new coronavirus, companies are reviewing whether remote work could be made permanenthoping to leverage potential gains in employee satisfaction, more productive workforces and cost-effectiveness.  Technology companies, such as Twitter and Square, have already announced that employees may continue to work remotely on a permanent basis.  Continue reading “Distributed Work: Making Time for Face-to-Face Communication”

FUTUREwork: Garry Kasparov and ‘Augmented’ Intelligence

In 1997, Garry Kasparov, the former world champion and one of the greatest minds in Chess, was defeated in a 6-game match by Deep Blue, IBM’s chess-playing computer. Kasparov had beaten a less-robust version of Deep Blue the year before, but lost the first game, which in itself was already a portent of things to come. Since then, Kasparov has spent a considerable amount of time reflecting upon the computer era, digitisation and the rise of Artificial Intelligence. He prefers to call it Augmented’ Intelligence, however, as he has embraced the potential power of a proactive human-machine relationship as a path to a better future. Continue reading “FUTUREwork: Garry Kasparov and ‘Augmented’ Intelligence”

Future of Work – Deloitte’s 7 Key Disruptors

The future of work is uncertain.  That’s the broad consensus of the consulting community who have been researching, writing about and advising clients on the subject for the last several years.  There are plenty of visions from thought leaders about what they want from the future of work, many of which advocate for a more flexible, more humane, more equal world that is kinder to the environment.  More meaningful work.  There is also a lot of prophesying on how to prepare and adapt, such as McKinsey’s podcast series called the New World of Work, which addresses the changes in how work will be organised, where it will be conducted and what skills and education we will need to work effectively.  Or the lessons learned from the Future of Work Community led by Jacob Morgan, best-selling author and keynote speaker on the subject. Continue reading “Future of Work – Deloitte’s 7 Key Disruptors”

Bergmann’s New Work, New Culture

The idea of New Work, conceptualised originally by the German-born, American social philosopher, Frithjof Bergmann, is no longer new in the sense of time.  Yet, it’s an idea just as relevant today as it was when it was first brought to the world’s attention nearly 40 years ago.

New Work was first conceived as Bergmann travelled through Eastern Europe of the 1970s and 1980s, witnessing the devastation of industrialisation on Communist countries.  He found similarities in the spirit-crippling activities that many in America’s workforce were undertaking in the early 1980s, particularly in the automobile manufacturing centers of Michigan, where Bergmann was teaching.  Combined with an increasing concern over the automation of factories and workplaces that would lead to massive layoffs and unemployment, Bergmann, now a Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan, began to recognise that Capitalism, too, not just Communism, was stripping people of their ability to find meaning in their lives.  Neither was a recipe for a happier future.  So, he began advocating a system, essentially a new culture, where people could pursue their calling or purpose, something they truly believed in and were passionate about. Continue reading “Bergmann’s New Work, New Culture”