Remote working

We have read a great deal about this and a recent survey indicates that over 140k people define their work as remote. This seems very large in and Irish context. Further work will be done on this to establish the validity and types of work. A great organisation growremote is working on this with government bodies and are to be commended.

There are some worries on this front too however. Many individuals find that working remote is a bit lonely. They seem to miss the interaction with colleagues and the plain old banter of the world of work. This is helped by joining in and using coworking places. Thankfully these are spreading all over the place. It is critical that employers help support these for the well being  of their team members and also for their own sucess .

As usual the idea of remote working is turning into a blend of working at home, working in coworking centres and other facilities and attendance at the central place of work. (If one actually exists!)

The opportunities in this area are growing and changing by leaps and bounds. Increasingly it is being found that open offices, multitudes of meetings, and micromanagement are actually reducing  productivity. Present day remote workers are a bit like evangalists and are making new ground. Turst is the key to future success in this area.

Changes in management skills and also in employee skills will be needed to make sure that remote workers are managed well and feel a productive and valuable part of an organisation. That is a two way street. Thankfully there are more and more people reporting about their direct experiences and the good and bad apples in the barrell.

The future of work in the workplace seems to be moving. There will be more automation of routine works. Some evidence based decision making will change too as computers will be able to consider more variables than us poor human brains. We see this in reports of improved early diagnosis of skin cancers by machines rather than by Doctors.   So work will change at the basic end and at the high end. ( in terms of perceived value rewarded per hour)

New skills will be needed and we will all need to adapt. But that is what we are good at. So no fears, onwards!


Smart Commerce

During our recent trip around  France we encountered many villages that were, how can we say this, perhaps retreating is the best word. Basically they were less and less people living there and the ones that were are finding their way into the third age of life and beyond.

One of the downsides is the closure of shops and the retreat of commerce from bricks and mortars to machines and vans.

Many villages had the baquette machine as in the picture. Now this is fine and very modern but expensive to install and maintain. We met many ladies like the one in the picture. They are long long term residents of the villages and remember it lively and full of activity. Theywould be happy and proud to take in the bread and sell it on to their neighbours.

With the minimum of technology the neighbours could order the bread and these neighbours could take it in and give it out again. No machines, a chance for a chat, to see if a neighbour is well, a small, small effort at community. If they were away or not able to do it then it could easily pass to another in the community for a few days or weeks.

We can do better than automating bread sales and installing a machine, surely. Business is not all about machines.  A small bit of communcation and an elderly, responsible and talented person has a new purpose, a business has a new outlet and a community has a chance to talk to each other.  The business has no worries about maintenance, insurance, quality, health issues from rodent attack, etc etc etc.

The customers are better served and are able to get to know they can get what they want locally.

This applies to so many things, local post, medicine drop offs, fresh produce. A little bit of #smartrural would go a long way. A little bit of technology and  connectivity. It takes a bit of passion.