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The five levels of autonomy to understand in what degree of remote work your company is


Some companies are exploring the option of interspersing remote work with the physical presence of employees in companies (Shutterstock)

Product of the pandemic, 2020 caused a true revolution in the way of providing services. For many positions it was no longer necessary to go to a physical place and, because of the quarantine, it was obligatory to se forced a powerful home office. We could say that the laboratory experimented with a vaccine in a hurry and with different degrees of effectiveness: who can and who cannot go from synchronous to asynchronous work. As long as the business allows it, why is it worth it and what levels of maturity must companies have to achieve it?

Matt Mullenweg, creator of Atomattic and the content management system WordPress.com, explains it in “the five levels of autonomy.” It should be clarified that in 2017 he managed to show that it was not necessary to have physical offices, lowering the curtains of his headquarters in San Francisco.

Level 0

It is work that cannot be done unless one is physically there. Many assumed they had many more of these than they actually did. Denial.

Level 1

There were most of the companies that weren’t prepared for the crisis and that didn’t make a deliberate effort to make things compatible with remote work. The idea was to postpone until you return to the “temple”, because the work happens on the computer, in the space and on the company schedule.

In Level 1 of autonomy are most of the companies that were not prepared for the crisis and that did not make a deliberate effort to make things compatible with remote work (Shutterstock)
In Level 1 of autonomy are most of the companies that were not prepared for the crisis and that did not make a deliberate effort to make things compatible with remote work (Shutterstock)

Level 2

It’s where many businesses have found themselves in March 2020. Accepting that work is going to happen at home for a while, recreate what they were doing in the office in a “remote” environment. All synchronous, a lot of reunionitis. Anxiety and fear about whether we are really working.

The most distrustful companies, installing security software and searching through a committee for various excuses, for example: “We don’t want your information to be stolen.” How did this impact the climate and mood of the company? What were the results of reunionitis? Did it increase productivity? No, rather it generated burn out.

Level 3

It is an overcoming stadium: invests in equipment, lighting, sound, among others. At the same time, asynchronous processes begin to replace unproductive meetings (almost all); written communication takes special attention, videoconferences come with prior duties and real-time review.

Companies that reach this level generate meetings to share experiences and meet face to face once or twice a year.

At the asynchronous level prevails: people's work is evaluated on what they produce, not how or when they produce it (Shutterstock)
At the asynchronous level prevails: people’s work is evaluated on what they produce, not how or when they produce it (Shutterstock)

Level 4

Asynchronous prevails (Introvert revenge?), people’s work is evaluated on what they produce, not how or when they produce it. Confidence develops to a very significant degree, although decision-making may slow down a bit, but reaches higher levels of empowerment.

Invests in training, coaching, and home offices are premium. Physically, you live where you choose to live, obtaining greater well-being. With all these attributes, it improves loyalty.

Level 5

It is not totally achievable. Mullenweg calls it nirvana. It is generated when people bring the best of themselves and the highest levels of creativity to do the best work of their careers and simply have fun, achieving well-being and mental health.

The desire to be self-directed, a great antidote to not becoming a part-time zombie. That is, that space of your life that you dedicate to your profession and that generates life for you, you enjoy it and you do not spend it thinking about your vacations, weekends and holidays. It is the level at which it is difficult for you to differentiate, now I am working, now I am living. Everything is life, the soul belongs to you 24 hours a day.

What awaits us in 2021?

In my research, 68% of those interviewed prefer a blend (home & office). The qualitative study showed that This percentage is high because many stayed at level 2, that is, they ended up working longer than in the office and did not experience the evolution.

You have to do everything possible so that more companies go from level 2 to level 3 and 4. 16% long to return to level 1, their beloved space. Finally, another 16% prefer to work mostly from the place that the person wants.

What is being considered so far? Many companies see the blend model as an opportunity (Human capital departments with more empathy presented numbers with considerable savings and greater talent attraction). The strongest point to establish a blend as a methodology is that the emotional connection of a team cannot be achieved only by working remotely. Share. Definitely, 2021 will be the search for efficiency in the distribution of work.

(Shutterstock)
(Shutterstock)

Finally, I pass on some labor innovations that have been mentioned to me when conducting this research. One person negotiated with her boss so that she can work at night because she felt that she was performing better. Another shares the work with her partner, although the latter is not on the payroll. An entrepreneur outsourced his work, that is, he pays 70% of his income to another person and in that available time he is dedicating himself to a personal project, obviously the company knows nothing. And finally, more than one person is looking for work outside the country, tempted by attractive income deposited in other paradises.

People are hares, the companies (team, group or band of people) of everything, except hare. To think. I would see it as an opportunity.

Guillermo Occhipinti is a lecturer, consultant and reference in management issues. Professor of master’s degrees and executive programs at Uade Business School, San Andrés, Eseade, Santo Tomás de Aquino and the Business School of the University 21. He is a visiting professor at numerous study houses.

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