I hear this all the time when people talk about the implementation of the digital workplace and I simply do not agree. Since the message above is repeated so frequently, I decided to record a podcast about the topic to explain my point of view.
The two main messages you will hear in the podcast are the following:
- Technology and behavior should not be seen as separate entities; they are intertwined.
- Working remotely has the power to liberate people.
Let me explain these two ideas briefly here.
“We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us.”
This quote from John Culkin is already more than 50 years old, but the idea behind it is still relevant. It is my strong belief that if people are allowed to work remotely, using digital tools to get the work done, they are encouraged to show their work, raise their voice, and demonstrate their talent. And there, in those moments where people make their implicit knowledge explicit, the magic happens. Two things come about:
1. They show up as authentic, real, human people who make mistakes and reflect—not as anonymous grey wage slaves, muzzled by their job description and their position in the organization chart.
2. People become true knowledge workers again because sharing their work presupposes they take the time for reflection. Technology encourages reflective practice; technology does not dehumanize work.
Do you like a visual summary of the podcast? Then you will like the one below, which is a beautiful sketchnote made by Claudio Nichele (original version can be found on Flickr).