Work is no longer an attendance competition
Question: Do you really need to be in front of your desk in an office block 9 to 5 every day in order to be productive?
One of the more positive legacies of the Covid pandemic was, I thought, that it had dispelled this myth once and for all. People were asked to stay at home wherever possible to save lives. Over a two year period, once bustling inner cities became ghost towns. Working from home clearly suited some more than others, but business performance certainly didn’t go off a cliff. Neither was there exodus to the golf course, gym or park during work hours. Indeed, many companies saw their share price surge when their employees were working from home and not doing endless business travel jollies.
Not everyone agrees.
Those of you with an eye on politics in the UK, may have read about the eponymous figure of Jacobs Rees-Mogg, Minister for Brexit Opportunities (an oxymoron in my humble opinion) in the UK government, visiting government offices and being surprised by how many desks were empty. JRM as he’s become known, took it upon himself to leave a rather patronising calling card saying “Sorry you were out when I visited. I look forward to seeing you in the office very soon”. It reminded me of a quirky boss I had way back in the 1990s who saw long hours as a badge of honour. If ever I stood up to leave the open plan office before him, whether it was 5, 6 or 7pm in the evening, he would lift his head and say “Thanks for coming in, Gib!”
We are no longer in the nineties although some have argued that the Right Honourable Jacob Rees-Mogg still is – in the 1890s that is.
The reality is that we human beings were not designed to sit behind desks stationary in an office all day. This point is very well made in a book I recently read called “The Extended Mind” by Annie Murphy Paul. Research has shown that we actually need to use more of our brain capacity to keep our bodies still as opposed to moving or walking. That’s why kids are prone to fidgeting. When you’re out walking, ideally in nature, your mind is freed up to think through business challenges and be more creative. According to Murphy Paul, it has profound implications for how we might design schools and the workplaces of the future – spaces which are conducive to well-being, creativity and performance.
Even if long-suffering civil servants are dragged back into the office by the outdated views of government ministers, it’s clear that businesses are moving in a different direction. The more progressive companies know that if they want to attract and retain the best talent, then they’ll need to offer something beyond a binary choice of either work from the office or work from home.
Best place to live (and work?) in Scotland
In a smilier vein, location independent working and creating inspiring workplaces is something of a boon for what we’re trying to do with The Craigberoch Business Decelerator. The Isle of Bute was recently voted the best place to live in Scotland by the Sunday Times and that does no harm whatsoever to our marketing campaign. We are running six co-working weeks in the second half of the year called BE on Bute. These are self-directed programs where people can choose from an à la carte menu of activities designed for creativity, inspiration and well-being all done while keeping the day job going. Stay tuned here for more information and dates!
I was actually able to visit Bute during April and join our Head of Programmes, Amelia Parisian on a visit to the land and various other local venues. It was a sunny day when we got to the site, but a freak shower caused the most incredible double rainbow right above the Craigberoch ruins and standing stone – stunning.
We also ran a very well attended community event in the evening together with our new Events Manager Kate Gray. There were no shortage of offers of support from the attendees and we’re looking forward to our next event running from the 13th -17th of June. You can sign up here if interested, but be quick as we only have a few places left!
Best of the rest……
It was quite a busy month in terms of speaking engagements which seem to be on the rise as we start to come out of the pandemic.
I joined a panel at the Future of Work Summit in the Graduate Institute in Geneva and spoke on a panel about “The Great Resignation: Inclusion and Purpose”. I also spoke to the Ignite Scholars Program at Fordham University in the US, all about my favourite topic of intrapreneurship. Had a similar discussion with a group of consultants attending a workshop in the Alps where I was able to speak to them with the wonderful backdrop of Mont Blanc.
I travelled to London at the end of April to attend a Workplace Wellbeing LIVE Conference. The event was filled with Wellbeing Leads from many of our big blue-chip target clients and it’s clear to me that this topic is hotter than ever and is extremely relevant to what we’re doing in Craigberoch.
From London I went on to Stockholm for a very different kind of event called the Inner Development Goals Summit. The vibe was incredible and mixed music, poetry with lectures from senior academics from the likes of Harvard, all talking about how inner work is a pre-requisite if we are to tackle the big challenges facing mankind. I’m very keen to have Craigberoch aligned with and supporting this growing movement.
On the personal front…….
The big news on the personal front was a break in Mexico where I was really able to unplug on the beach in Tulum. I’ve been going there from time to time over the past 10 year and while the place is still stunning, it is sadly starting to get overrun with large Instagram centric restaurants. For me, these are less about eating and more about being seen in the right place, wearing the right clothes and paying a fortune for the experience. Not really my cup of tea but at least the beach was still idyllic!
OK, that’s more than enough for now folks. If you enjoy this monthly ramble then do feel free to suggest others sign up here. Until next month,
* The Bullog = Bulloch + BlogMake sense? Not bulldog, nor is it bulls**t although I’ll let you be the judge of that! It’s a brief synopsis on recent articles, events and opinions from my world and the things that have caught my attention over the past few weeks.