Marten Bütow
8. December 2017 0
Collaboration

A small tale from vacation

What bad luck: Bernd should never have given his private mobile phone number to his boss. The latter quickly discovered he – naturally – is also on WhatsApp (“My permanent status: ready for a holiday”) and pinged him. On vacation. “URGENT! I ABSOLUTELY need the documents on the customer ACME Corporate. What did you agree? Your boss.” Of course, the picture of an idyllic family his boss had chosen to adorn his account didn’t make the situation any better.

Bernd thinks the matter over – his wife and children are frolicking around at the pool. He orders a cold cola, bites into the lemon slice garnishing it, blinks in resignation at the Italian sun and sighs. Didn’t he …?

Let’s briefly interrupt the story at this point – one that, of course, would NEVER occur in reality. The boss wanting something while you’re on holiday – that would be unimaginable. Just think of the consequences under employment law … But let’s imagine for a moment it would actually happen. In an emergency at work.  And Bernd isn’t there.

We should be clear about one thing: Digitization naturally has its dark side, too. You might feel that way if you were Bernd. If you were his boss, you’d be pleased at his “flexibility.” And at the possibility of obtaining the URGENTLY needed information.

Let’s imagine Bernd’s private smartphone were administered in the company’s network as a “bring your own” device. He takes a gulp of his cold cola to wash the sour taste out of his mouth and connects up to his hotel’s WLAN. He accesses his workplace via a tunnel, opens the folder “ACME,” seeks out the last dossier and releases it for his boss. The mail is automatically initiated. Live collaboration across national borders. Done. A matter of minutes. But the cola is warm in the meantime. He makes a note in his mind to ask his boss to make amends at the next opportunity.

But one other thing is necessary: He accesses his mailbox and combs through his out box (a pity that the search function for ACME does not work mobilely) and sends his boss the mail he sent him before his vacation – with the subject “Holiday greetings.” A little revenge is surely allowed …

It goes without saying that every company must decide on its own what options modern workplaces offer. But also avoid the possibility that we have to resign ourselves to some situations. Dynamic working, faster company processes – all that is demonstrated in very simple scenarios. It’s important for the dynamic workplace to reflect those possibilities within a reliable framework. And what’s just as important: Regulations on how companies protect their employees from all too much flexibility are needed. And ones that perhaps help those who are lost in the deluge of information. Artificial intelligence might be a solution to that. Bernd would certainly support that … and now for another cola. But this time with rum. On the boss. Cheers.

What should the dynamic workplace be like so that companies are fit for the future? Benny Tritsch and Brian Madden have addressed the issue for us in a white paper.

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