‘Smart Working won’t work here’

Let me count the times I have heard this said!

  • ‘My people cant’ work from home – we need to collaborate!’
  • ‘I can’t trust my people to work when I cannot see them.’
  • ‘This role is too important to the business to accept a request for flexible working’
  • ‘Our data would not be safe.’

Flexible Working

A highly talented Leader was asked by the CEO to introduce flexible working into a large corporate.  She did, and she did it extremely well.

However, bizarre as it seems, she would not let her own HR team benefit from it. The Team trooped into the office, 9 to 5, Mo to Friday. Arriving at work, they proceeded to phone and conference call Managers, who were working in a hub, remotely or mobile!

Fixed Mindset

I feel sorry for that Leader.  Was she defined by her own fixed mindset, her own failures and shortcomings?

Maybe she spends the day watching TV when she is ‘working from home and that explains the reference.  99% of us don’t, you know!


Productivity goes up when we work remotely because of the lack of distractions – and boy there were lots of distraction in that Office:

  • Margaret’s birthday  – lets all have a sing song and have some cake – 20 minutes later back to work – conference call about the disciplinary
  • Last night’s TV – Have you been watching Line of Duty?  Another 20 minutes flies by and I have to finish this report.
  • Ah Ruth – I meant to ask you about this that or the other……aaaargh

Rescuetime did a survey.  98% of people said they are interrupted at least a few times every single day with nearly half of them saying they’re interrupted frequently.

Another survey reports that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to recover from an interruption and reach full productivity again.

Smart Leadership skill set

Or maybe our lovely HR Leader was afraid to manage in a new way because she does not have the skill?  It takes a very different set to manage a distributed team.  Strange behaviours and excuses emerge when Leader ‘s try to stop shortcomings being exposed.

Was it skill set or Fixed Mindset that was the root cause? Whichever it was, her people began to leave……

Don’t fall into the Fixed Mindset Trap.

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