Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive

The Secret of Adaptable Organizations Is Trust – WFH is Corroding Our Trust in Each Other

Anne says: What?? Sounds like these two articles are at opposite ends of the spectrum regarding trust. Or are they?

Trust has always been a key element in our approach to using enterprise collaboration systems. And when asked, our response has always been: Trust is cheaper than control. If we employ people, we provide/trust them with expensive equipment, we trust them to speak to customers, we trust them to do their job… yet we don’t trust them to contribute effectively to the organisation? This is the main argument of the first article.

In particular, the author (Joerg Esser), proposes how companies need to be adaptable through a ‘more is less’ approach to management and enable people with the freedom to get their work done. There’s a distinction made between working in a crisis – like now – as people knuckle down to get things done, and a sustainable approach that continues to work in a permanent state of adaptability.

The article outlines the design principles for adaptability but then extends from theory into practice with an example of a European airport and how the design principles were applied to create new ways of working. The key element? Trust.

The second article provides a contrasting perspective on the issue of trust. In this instance, the context is focused on “the crisis of trust” and it’s between employees during the mandated working from home periods during the pandemic. The assertion is that predictability is the foundation of trust. Based on the studies of Heidi Gardner (author of Smarter Collaboration), there’s an explanation on the types of information for people to trust each other (in a workplace). However, these sources of information have been eroded or removed when we work in a distributed team or at home connecting through the limitations of technology.

The article continues with a number of strategies that can be used to build trust during these disrupted work patterns – with an important warning: monitoring does not build trust!

Both articles arrive at different conclusions – but the underpinning message is the same. Trust is and will continue to be the essence of successful companies. Perhaps, as the first article outlined, it’s time to consider new operating models versus new business models that focus on where people are working from.

Trust – rhetoric or strategic advantage?

Read: https://hbr.org/2021/03/the-secret-of-adaptable-organizations-is-trust

Read: https://hbr.org/2021/02/wfh-is-corroding-our-trust-in-each-other

Home offices and a life lived online

Jakkii says: Like Anne, I have a couple of articles this week, both looking at how the pandemic has changed things for us and what the current normal looks like.

The first takes a look at internet use and, as the title says, explores how a year of ‘living online’ has changed us. It’s worth noting this is based on a survey of people based in the US, so it’s not necessarily representative of everywhere, or even anywhere other than the US.

It’s a long read, and looks at some intriguing issues: online negativity, mixed feelings about being online, staying happy, and the costs we don’t see, amongst others. While I wouldn’t extrapolate from these findings and apply them to other places who’ve had differences in pandemic experience (particularly in places like here in Australia, or over in New Zealand), it’s a useful frame to have in mind when thinking about the effects of the pandemic when it comes to being ‘forced’, in many ways, to live a life much more online, for everything from school to socialising to work to shopping. We may have the technology to support this, but what are we doing to support our people and each other? It’s a question you may be familiar with when it comes to your own organisations and workplaces, too.

The second article is more of a brief photo essay, giving us a window into the world of working from home by giving us glimpses into what that looks like for nine different workers who live in nine different cities in nine different countries. I found it fascinating, and I appreciated them inviting us into their lives. It’s intriguing to note there are similarities, not just differences, between each of them, and between their experiences and mine. If you have any thoughts on these similarities and differences, or want to share your experience of working from home, get in touch! I’d love to hear it.

Read: https://mashable.com/article/covid-19-pandemic-internet-use/

Read: https://restofworld.org/2021/heres-what-working-from-home-looks-like/

Friday Fives

Hybrid workplace

Remote work and the digital workplace

Communication, engagement, and culture

Community management, moderation and misinformation

Privacy and data

Big Tech

Social media

Extras

This is cool: Watch this amazing footage of a drone flying right through an erupting volcano in Iceland

Things that make you go hmmm: These GPT-3 pick-up lines are better than the sleaze and cheese you sling on Tinder

Space: Why Oumuamua, the interstellar visitor, looks eerily familiar

Podcast: A philosophical justification for accessibility

Friday playlist: Women of Rock

Sydney Business Insights: The Future, This Week Podcast

This week: What Roblox teaches us about the creator economy and we’re talking about AR and VR yet again.

Sandra Peter (Sydney Business Insights) and Kai Riemer (Digital Disruption Research Group) meet once a week to put their own spin on news that is impacting the future of business in The Future, This Week.

The stories this week

09:42 – What is Roblox and what do you need to know?

22:56 – 20% of Facebook’s workforce is working on AR/VR

Listen: https://sbi.sydney.edu.au/the-creator-economy-and-mixed-realities-on-the-future-this-week/


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