I don’t know about you, but growing up I watched my parents follow the same routine, day in and day out. They dropped us kids off at school, picked us up again, made dinner, reflected with us on our respective days, let us watch a bit of TV and then it was bedtime. Next day, an alarm and repeat. The notion of consistency, of having somewhere to be in the morning, was always there.
I can hardly imagine what would have happened if I didn’t need to get out of my pyjamas in the morning… our routine would have been shattered. This brings me to the topic of the agile work environment, uber trendy at the moment, but can I really call people from my couch?
Slade Group is one of a growing number of Australian business who has implemented the agile workplace as the way of the future. Personally, I love getting up and coming into work every day. The ritual of it all, picking an outfit – perhaps a matching lipstick – sitting on the bus with my fellow commuters – what will the traffic on the Anzac Bridge be like today? The city is abuzz with suits, casually dressed creative types, backpackers promoting gyms – a real melting pot.
Arriving in the office there’s the morning banter with my team, “How was everybody’s evening?” “Did you watch The Block last night?” “…it was the best Italian I’ve EVER had!”
My desk is a perfectly organised chaos of paperwork, to do lists, and inspirational quotes, which is home base for the next eight hours or so. People can find me, plans are made and strategies brought to fruition.
Would I prefer to be working from home today? Frankly… no. Maybe it’s those school days returning, but I like my work routine. A recent article, Bosses Prefer Staff in Office as Old Work Habits Die Hard, by the Sydney Morning Herald’s Workplace Editor, Anna Patty, also suggests that whilst working from home is considered a step in our ongoing quest to attain work life balance, employees are actually working longer hours than what they would in a day in the office.
“Barbara Pocock, an adjunct professor at the University of South Australia School of business, said an increasing proportion of people are working from home. But her research for the university’s Centre for Work and Life shows most people are working a few extra hours from home,” writes Patty.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for progressive, high-trust flexible work environments, but I am also for collaboration amongst colleagues, face to face interaction and a little extra time away from the laptop wouldn’t go astray. Sometimes the best way to achieve productivity is by being in each other’s presence and having a space to share.