Earlier today I was on the train. It was packed. The whole carriage was being forced to listen to a Monday morning inane conversation about whether, ‘Lisa has approved that payment.’
Jamie — for that was how the chap introduced himself during multiple calls — was at pains to point out that he, “Wasn’t in front of his computer,” and so couldn’t do anything. Apart from read his email and make calls.
Many companies make this kind of behaviour commonplace by preventing their employees and teams from getting anything done when they’re out of the office. Unless you’re carrying a flipping huge Dell laptop that needs to be secured by no less than six different “factors” before you can open Excel.
How long will it be reasonably acceptable for people to use the (often valid) excuse that they’re “not at their desk” as an explanation for why something can’t be done?
If you leave aside the usual IT problems with connecting remotely, I often find folk don’t do anything when they’re out of office because they can’t run Word, Excel, Powerpoint or some stupidly old back-end “application” can’t be accessed remotely.
Is it time yet for companies reconstruct their technology operations to enable work from anything and anywhere?
I wonder. Probably not. For most, being able to work fully from a mobile device is not yet a business critical requirement. Indeed I wonder how much of the UK workforce still defines “working” as being sat at their desk with Outlook open?