All in the mind…

… was what Andreas Bourani already sang in 2011. In the past days and weeks this phrase has often come into my head. The connection may not be immediately apparent to everyone, but the corona pandemic somehow made me aware of it again.

Why? Well, apart from such aspects as scare tactics, fake news and uncertainty, there are many issues that are probably on all our minds. However, this is less what I want to talk about today, but I can recommend, among others, the work “Risk Paradox” by Ortwin Renn. Right now I am more interested in the pandemic’s direct impact on the world of work.

Can you remember the first time home offices were discussed in the wake of the Corona outbreak? In my opinion much too late (if you think that avoiding contact delays the spread of the disease – which I neither question nor support here). But what prevents us from moving our work to a home office? Yes, I admit this does not apply to every profession, and everyone struggles with their individual problems. And it was not so long ago that some people resisted moving to a home office. But couldn’t it be a worthwhile alternative? Especially now that childcare is a huge challenge for many people and flexibility in work arrangements could help a lot.

Why do so many “brain workers” struggle to do this themselves (which brings us back to the title)? I personally have been working in IT projects for over 10 years, and yes, not everything is feasible remotely. However, these are still the same reservations as 10 years ago. What was that old management rule? If things don’t work out, get the whole team together in one location. In my opinion, for the last 10 years every IT project has shown that this is nonsense (This can be a reason for the problems in many projects, but long and frequent travel times also create a lot of problems). Because if everything is only in my mind and in the minds of others, it is “only” about the efficient communication of precisely this information. And I am convinced this is bound to neither space nor time. In times of Corona even less.

Home office could certainly help here, but there’s a lack of trust… or perhaps imagination?

Original text: MHA
English translation: BCO

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