A key dimension of the reflections on the future of work will be its measurement. Because it is time to take into account its changing nature and the constraints linked to hybridity.
And as usual, we will understand the phenomenon through the lens of the major factors that impact the future of work.
It didn’t change anything but at least it helped to identify the extent of the problem. Many managers found themselves in a panic because they could not see their employees working.
Was the result achieved? Yes. What had to be done was done? Yes. So what was the problem?
Many people were used to a culture of visual control and presenteeism, which no longer works with a remote work culture that is a result-oriented culture. In the background, there is an obvious problem of trust and management, which means that an employee who is not visible is by definition an employee who will try not to work.
From the moment we consider that work is no longer a place or a time but a state of mind and a result, there is a whole HR and managerial culture to be reinvented, which is a prerequisite to the implementation of adequate monitoring systems.
No impact here.
It is a factor of acceleration of the problem: by allowing new forms of work, it has made it possible to measure all its extent and to make what was until then a simple “managerial inconvenience” become a subject that had to be dealt with.
In addition, it offers a number of solutions for moving on. For example, using secondary data to understand how work is really done in order to improve it and make it more efficient.
But be careful not to misuse it as Microsoft almost did in Viva before backing down. This data is useful to understand how work is done and to improve its design, its organization, to potentially identify risks of overload, not to track people.
The evolution of society and economy
Not much to say here apart from the fact that the employee is increasingly looking for trust at work.
The transformation of service activities and knowledge work
Here we are at the heart of the matter. We are talking about activities following a number of adhoc processes and based on immaterial flows that we are still trying to monitor like industrial production flows with tangible flows.
It doesn’t work for the employee who is unnecessarily monitored and pressured, for the manager who wastes energy on an impossible task, and for the business which measures everything but the right thing and therefore loses an opportunity to better manage its activity and improve its operating methods.
When value creation is invisible (appearing to be busy behind a screen does not mean creating value and one can find a solution to a problem during a coffee break) we must stop giving ourselves the illusion that we are managing anything by using methods and tools inherited from another mode of production.
So yes, what counts is that the work is done, because that is the only thing that can be measured. For the rest, you have to learn to trust and be available and benevolent so that employees dare to call for help and say they have a problem before it’s too late.
A matter of culture, indicators and tools.
Now when I say that only the result is measured, it is only partly true. Thanks to feedbacks and secondary data, we can understand and improve many things related to operating procedures, but only on one condition: that the measurement is used to improve the work design, not to measure people.