“Our grandfathers and great grandfathers built schools to train people to have a lifetime of productive labor as part of the Industrialized economy. And it worked.” – Seth Godin

Schools and colleges worked their magic and most of the graduates eventually made their way to a beautiful five day work week of 9am-5pm. Seems like a smooth system to create and produce the labor force needed to work at corporations.

Now, we live in knowledge based societies with the need for people to be more creative and independent thinkers. Schools and colleges need to evolve with time and change their roles accordingly. With the advancements in technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) automating many manual tasks that workers used to do before and the speed of change we are witnessing like never before, our workplaces are not adapting as fast as it needs to.

The forty hour work week for all the employees might not produce the best results for the company. Employees should be working during the times they are most productive because some are best during the mornings, while others could be better working during the evenings or at night time. This is not to say that each employee should create their own work schedule or that managers will have an easier time managing their team members. Employers should focus more on offering the best flexibility to their employees and evaluate them based on the results that they bring. 

The Accenture Future of Work Study 2021 explored what people need to be healthy and productive as we enter a new era of work. Here are their main findings from the research report.

  • A majority of workers (83%) prefer a hybrid work model, but a variety of factors influence their ability to thrive, whether they’re onsite or off.
  • Responsible leaders must move beyond physical location to shape the future of work by giving people resources tailored to their needs.
  • 63% of high-growth companies have already adopted a “productivity anywhere” workforce model.

Work At Your Time Of Greatest Optimum (W.A.Y.T.O.G.O) is a new paradigm for work. At the start of each new hire, the manager and HR sit together and explain the team or department’s goals and the new hire’s responsibility. The new hire is required to produce the best work within a certain time frame. The focus is on the results. Flexibility is a privilege and the new hire should understand that it can be taken away if the results are not optimal or under par. If the new hire works in a team or needs face to face interaction, it can be a virtual video or audio call. In person meetings should be done if the team is fairly new so individuals can get to know each other or as absolutely needed. This can be more easier to implement in a new startup or even a small size team within established companies. This type of work model is necessary for productivity to thrive at the highest level.

 Which work model is your workplace currently following?

Publish yourself

You should write a book by Seth Godin from his podcast, Akimbo.

A must attend classroom

Over the past few months, I have been religiously reading Seth’s blog. His simple notes speak volumes. Apart from reading his books, I urge all business students and especially budding marketers to subscribe to Seth’s blog.

Here’s a great post from Seth titled Who is your customer?

Rule one: You can build a business on the foundation of great customer service.

Rule two: The only way to do great customer service is to treat different customers differently.

The question: Who is your customer?

It’s not obvious.

Zappos is a classic customer service company, and their customer is the person who buys the shoes.

Nike, on the other hand, doesn’t care very much at all about the people who buy the shoes, or even the retailers. They care about the athletes (often famous) that wear the shoes, sometimes for money. They name buildings after these athletes, court them, erect statues

Columbia Records has no idea who buys their music and never has. On the other hand, they understand that their customer is the musician, and they have an entire department devoted to keeping that ‘customer’ happy. (Their other customer was the program director at the radio station, but we know where that’s going…)

Many manufacturers have retailers as their customer. If Wal-Mart is happy, they’re happy.

Apple had just one customer. He passed away last year.

And some companies and politicians choose the media as their customer.

If you can only build one statue, who is it going to be a statue of?