Coronavirus, pandemic, quarantine, isolation, distancing. Throughout 2020 our language was populated with new words that we never thought we would use so frequently. These expressions, which lead searches on Google, were joined by others such as telecommuting, home office, Zoom.
All of them record the perception in language of a reality that was imposed on us at lightning speed, took us by surprise and to which we had to adapt without preparation, although everyone agrees with the idea that, in reality, a good part of them allude to phenomena that were in development and that the virus only accelerated.
In any case, what matters most is that the reality they describe is truly here to stay and will still undergo further transformations. One of them already incorporates another new expression that, although still incipient in use in Argentina and in the world, will not take long to impose itself and become part of the everyday language of companies.
We refer to “Outwork”, a word that I coined several months ago during an interview with a senior bank executive when he told me that they had already decided that 60% of their collaborators would not work in the pre-pandemic format, they were going to do it in Home Office format. At that time I asked him: “Do you think people want to work at home? I think the term is more appropriate. Outwork, which translated from English, means “work outside the factory” or “outside the office”, a term broader than the home office that restricts the activity to be carried out at home but at the same time more specific than mere “telework”, where the key is the technological link to overcome the “distance”. It also seeks to capture what would be an evolution of coworking, where teleworking is carried out in predetermined physical spaces, idle and above all flexible. for new remote workers, who you just have to go to, adapting to them.
“Outwork” goes much further. It is a concept that is user-centric. It is a different work space, a “third place” that is neither home nor office, But it is not fixed like coworking, but it is mobile, flexible, it has to be where the worker needs it and it must meet optimal conditions of functionality, connectivity, spaces to work alone and quiet, but it also has to contemplate the possibility that other people attend, there are meetings, presentations, among other things.
In our wonderful country where entrepreneurs grow and multiply, several projects have just been born in response to these new trends, among them “benomad”, a startup whose slogan is none other than “Work where you want”, and clearly represents the world’s revolution of work that establishes new codes and pushes organizations and companies to transform themselves. Pablo Alemán, Pablo Di Filippo and Alan Packer, its three co-founders understood that An app should allow today’s new workers to choose the workplace, how to do it, and when based on their experiences, needs, tastes or proximity.
Without a doubt, the quarantine did not invent telecommuting, but rather accelerated and accentuated trends that were already present– In 2019, a survey by Buffer, a social media management software company, found that 99% of those consulted indicated that they wanted to work remotely at least part of their time during the rest of their careers. Another study, in this case by GetApp, estimated that the number of people who work remotely at least once a week grew 400% since 2010. To complete the picture, an analysis by the famous Boston Consulting Group (BCG) established that teleworking can increase productivity between 15% and 40%; reduce absenteeism by 40%; reduce personnel substitutions between 10% and 15%; as well as suppose a reduction of costs of more than 20% in rents and resources.
The commitment to Outwork spaces is connected not only with the needs opened by the pandemic but also with a commitment by companies, independent professionals, students and freelancers, about how their work routines will be in the new normal.
The opportunities are not in the crises, they are hidden in the processes of changes in the dominant trendsThose who are attentive, react on time, invest in a timely manner and know how to carry it out, may be recognized by the rest as those who knew how to take advantage of the opportunities.
* Jonatan Loidi has a degree in Marketing and a postgraduate degree in customer experience from the Disney Institute. He is CEO of GrupoSet where he works as a consultant and international speaker on topics related to innovation, marketing and strategy. He is the author of several books among which stand out what is that of marketing? 2016 and Business + digitals, 2019.