No Boundaries is Here to Stay
The Flex Reports reveal workforce trends of over 4,000 companies with more than 100 million workers, across 30,000 offices. They show:
- The boundaries between work and home are gone
- People love flexibility and don’t want to give it up
- Competitors will take top talent
- Purpose over position
- Ownership over hours
- Camaraderie over convenience
Purpose over Position
“I had a talented junior associate with great potential. Our large firm has a strict policy limiting remote work for associates. He requested some flexibility, which was denied. He left the firm and we lost the talent. He saw no reason to commute when he could work on a computer at home.”
The firm focused on work location by title. They gave flexibility to senior positions. The young talent was commuting to work alone. It made no sense. The talent left.
There are multiple reasons why working in-person is important. Your team needs a purpose to work in-person. For more, download No Boundaries Leadership
Ownership over Hours
As the boundary between work and home melted away, the value of measuring hours did too. The most recent Microsoft Work Trend Index reports that 87% of employees feel more productive working remotely, but only 12% of leaders are confident that’s true. In response, organizations instituted monitoring software, which inspired fruitless activity to inflate work hours. Time is not a reliable predictor of results.
Camaraderie over Convenience
“I have a team member who works remotely and is normally excellent. However, occasionally he ghosts the team in the middle of the day. His role is critical and time-sensitive. It’s really distressing for the team. I’ve addressed it, but it keeps happening.”
The recent Harvard Business Review article Why Hybrid Work Can Become Toxic outlines how team relationships deteriorate when people no longer work in the same location. Remote work reduces cohesion, distorts perceptions, and puts the team out of sync.
The disappearing team member has lost perspective. He no longer sees his team in distress, so it’s easy to pick convenience over camaraderie. The leader can address the individual failure, or he can focus on the individual failure and the distress it causes his peers.