Might the shifts in the world of work happening due to the current global illness/economic crisis sow seeds of possibilities for new consciousness in the “future of work?” Without minimizing the devastation and disruption happening for so many at this time, let’s explore, imagine what might develop in the “opportunity” aspect of this crisis.
For example, with more people working from home, remotely, what subtle impetus toward more “wholeness”, self-management, and working from an evolutionary purpose might arise in those people? What practical considerations might suggest new practices that are upshifts into self-management?
These maturations of consciousness in relation to our work lives might develop naturally in some people, simply in response to the new ways of seeing themselves in relationship to their new work situation, and from the logistics of remote work that shift relationships and practicalities considerably.
What is it about remote work that might make it seem natural for people to bring more of who they are to work, including being more authentic in their self-expression, and bringing more of their creativity and whole-person wisdom to bear on their work?
Here are just a few of the possible seeds for increased “wholeness,” self-management, and working from purpose, that could emerge in a shift to remote work:
Working at home, there could likely be less pressure from work culture to conform and to inhibit oneself from authentic self-expression, simply from the diminished frequency and directness of contact with fellow-workers.
More decisions are likely to be made from a more-independent mindset simply because of physical distance from peer and hierarchy pressures.
Gallup polling suggests the average workplace sees approximately 30% of every employee’s time every day spent in office politics. How might that diminish when gossiping is more of an effort to communicate? How much individual and team creativity might be liberated from the gained time and energy? How much more spaciousness and freedom might develop from more psychological safety and the resulting natural increase in authenticity? How much more of our wholeness might we contribute to the quality of our work if there’s less fear of peer criticism?
Perhaps also, being home, the temptation is to shift more often between home life and work life rather than having physically left (although texting never stops, does it?) and not being home for hours. The psychological carry-over from the person one is with family and the person one is at work is bound to increase. Who knows what that is going to subtly catalyze over time? (Of course, there are downsides; confusion and disruption can result from the clash of these personas.)
Also the psychological carryover in the other direction, from work persona to family persona, is bound to happen also, with effects we will discover. The blending might help more people feel as if their lives are more integrated, that they are “self” in both social contexts.
The seeds for a potential upshift into more of a self-management consciousness are even more obvious. No bosses popping in to look over your shoulder, intimidating and micro-managing. Micro-managing is going to get a lot harder to do!
Having to manage one’s own time more than before is a shift into self-management practices, and brings with it both greater investment in the work itself and greater opportunity to question one’s purpose, one’s motivations, for that particular work—a shift toward the third “Teal-consciousness breakthrough” of working from an evolutionary purpose.
Meetings, too, when online, create a somewhat greater psychological distance that is conducive to a feeling of greater autonomy in a variety of ways, such as less body language of others to be pressured by! They also might require greater preparation, fostering again questioning of purpose and a greater sense of ownership of one’s own work.
Most certainly, remote work both fosters and requires greater distribution of power and decision-making simply from the decrease in time spent in personal presence as well as other factors.
Those upshifts into more Teal-conscious practices related to power and decision-making are probably going to feel more and more like the natural next step for a lot of folks. There might not be full-blown distribution such as in more mature power and decision-making processes but the direction will have been set, and momentum created.
For those whose personal changes in work begin or amp up some questioning about the possibilities of new and better ways of being and doing work, Enlivening Edge offers many resources of knowledge, inspiration, and people to connect with, share with, and learn from, and we will continue to do so.
What shifts in your work life are you experiencing these days?
What changes in both consciousness and logistics are being set into motion?
What shifts do you have colleagues or friends going through, and what might you support in their development?