Jozef Imrich, name worthy of Kafka, has his finger on the pulse of any irony of interest and shares his findings to keep you in-the-know with the savviest trend setters and infomaniacs.
''I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.''
The Xero and Tyro chairman says business leaders hoping for a full return to the office need to accept a more permanent shift to working from home is here.
Pining for the days when the office was full and remote work was an exception? It’s time to move on, according to David Thodey, chairman of Xero and Tyro and former chief executive of Telstra.
Thodey told an Australian Institute of Company Directors event in Melbourne on Monday that boards and management teams need to see work from home as a permanent shift, and adjust their processes, systems and expectations.
“WFH will not go away and will fundamentally change the nature of work for organisations, individuals, cities, transportation and infrastructure. I think this change is irreversible,” he said.
Thodey said boards and management teams would need to work out how to measure qualitative things such as engagement, productivity, culture, and responsiveness, as well as processes, systems and rules around issues including occupational health and safety, and cybersecurity.
Clearly, this is what firms have been doing for the past two years, with various levels of success. But this column suspects Thodey is right when he says many leaders and directors will be hoping for an eventual return to the old ways of working.
The excitement I witnessed among the senior leadership team at one major listed company when attendance hit 50 per cent a few months back speaks volumes about what leaders would prefer to see.
But Thodey is right that the world of work is not going to snap back, and temporary work policies do need to become more permanent, if they haven’t already.
Notably, he argues that hybrid working also presents unique challenges for boards.
On the plus side, more frequent, shorter video meetings might work for some boards. But how to hold the informal, unstructured discussions that lie at the crux of a board’s work in an online and/or hybrid setting is a more difficult question.