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“The Office of the Future Is No Office at All. “
“Working from home is the future of work. “
“Office centricity is over.”
“Welcome to the new era of agility.”
Indeed, these are theories and cool ideas that are sold to us on a daily basis through the media and the Internet, be they written by leaders of sexy technology companies or by “giant” companies that never hit the break-even or cannot present financial sustainability without having a dependence on external capital injection.
Concerning this particular theme, my first arrogant take is: the new normal Isn’t remote work. The future of work isn’t remote work.
So – if you’re asking which one is it – here it goes:
The future of work is not having certainties. It’s not turning into smartasses because we never know what the future held. We never knew it and we will never know.
Because we don’t have convictions, we have decided that from 1 June 2020 Angry Ventures would stop maintaining a physical office. This decision didn’t come up because we allow ourselves be deluded by the pretty press releases from Twitter, Shopify or Box mentioning that the collaborators could work from home forever if they wished to do so.
Our new normal
Ultimately, our decision didn’t come up because we believe that The New Normal Is Remote Work or that The future of Work Is Remote Work. This decision came up because we don’t have certainties and we prefer to adapt rather than think the future will be this or that through the power of our crystal ball.
On 1 April 2020, we decided to launch a challenge internally through our facilitator Michel Canôvas. It was an elementary question: today, what makes more sense for the people at Angry Ventures?
After several talks, surveys, retrospectives, one on ones and coffee talks, we understood that what made sense was to, today, as a group, make the decision of not having an office and choose a different way of working. Maybe, this will be a social experiment, a challenge for the people at Angry Ventures and for all those we co-create it. In the future? We have no idea. For all one knows, we will have an office again or buy a boat. Who knows…
For now, we decided the money that was being invested in the physical space would be allocated for other initiatives, as a monthly budget:
– Monthly budget for team building dynamics in person (retrospectives and weekly physical plannings, team retreats lasting several days, etc.);
– Budget for collaborators to help with personal expenses since they will be dedicating a particular space, money, and tools to create a little Angry Ventures in their homes (if you need more information about funding your personal office setup at home, this article might help).
I felt it was important to write down the reasons because we want the decision that we took to be transparent.
Final thoughts concerning these changes
In the final analysis, encouraging the managing of a company is securing a group of people with responsibility, autonomy and ownership so that it’s possible, based on shared principles, to create a healthy organization in function. Not built on objectives, but in intentions that everyone embraced and tries to make every day. The New Normal Isn’t Remote Work. The future of work Isn’t Remote Work. It’s Better. What is going to be?
We don’t have any idea. That’s why it’s worthier. We always want to provide the answer to everything. However, if we knew the result, it wouldn’t be as funny…