For two days now my office has been without internet or access to emails. And while I will admit that it was been rather difficult to manage because a lot of my work is done via email and internet research it has also brought to light that the mind set of managers and management in Dubai are not as progressive as they may seem. My bosses would rather have me sitting at my desk in the office getting very little done than staying at home for the day where I have complete access to my emails, a quiet office and more ability to be productive because I’m not constantly having to check if I’m online or not. Im not sure if it is the out of sight out of mind mentality, but if I was in that position to make that call, I would far rather have my sales team connected and have access to all the information that they need than to have them huffing and puffing at each other through the day.
Yes, we all have our phones and can be in constant contact with one another and that is not going to change any time soon. We, as employees, are constantly connected via our smart phones and this is often to the detriment of our families and private lives, God forbid, no one can reach us at 7pm to discuss the up coming board meeting in three months time. So here I sit in a little coffee shop, completely connected, all my to do list done because I was able to prioritize and fly through my list because I had no distractions, no annoying thinly veiled jibes from irritated managers.
Recently Virgin brought out a policy that gives its employees the freedom to work from where they want to, and Sir Richard Branson was quoted saying, “To successfully work with other people, you have to trust each other. A big part of this is trusting people to get their work done wherever they are, without supervision. It is the art of delegation, which has served Virgin and many other companies well over the years.” This of course was in reaction to the CEO of Yahoo telling all staff that they may not work from home any more and they needed to relocate to the office premises.
I echo his sentiments that if companies provide the right technology to keep it’s employees in touch, maintain regular communication and get the right balance between remote and office working, people will be motivated to work responsibly, quickly and with high quality. While I would appreciate the opportunity to do this, it is not something that I would like to do on a regular basis. I actually enjoy getting into the office, catching up on the on goings and seeing the staff and team members. It helps me stay in touch with the company ethos and to my managers but surely on days where like this where there is no access within the office at all and everyone is sitting there twiddling their thumbs there should be an opportunity for flexibility?