The Smarter Working Manifesto (Anglais) Broché – 18 février 2014
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Présentation de l'éditeur
In The Smarter Working Manifesto, Philip Vanhoutte and Guy Clapperton talk to the experts, the practitioners, the managers, the academics, and recommend best practices for making more money out of a happier workforce. People can be in charge of their own workplace, they can work to their own timetable and their company can benefit.
Read this book to find out:
• Why we work where we do - and why it's changing • How to evaluate and improve your workplace • How to get the most out of a remote workforce • How to build a virtual team • How to make your organization more profitable and smarter
The authors have drawn on experience internationally to create the definitive work on how to build the best workplace, both on and off your premises, for the 21st century.
Biographie de l'auteur
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The authors discuss in some detail the differing needs for work space zones for focused individual work, group discussions and presentations, contemplation, and face-to-face communication. Acoustic design is a very important although frequently neglected consideration. There are many work space types to choose from, including quiet rooms, quiet areas, collaboration areas, social hubs, inspiring spaces, neutral ground, transition spaces, and home or hotel rooms.
Although some organizations have adopted a virtual model of working, some form of physical workspace is, in the opinion of the authors, crucial for most businesses. Home-working has been made increasingly possible by broadband networks and technology, but technology alone is not sufficient to enable an effective virtual organization; some complex human re-engineering is also required.
Most managers would prefer to leave issues of workplace design to architects, and get on with running their businesses. However, management is about managing people, and workplace design, particularly in the context of telecommuting and flexible work arrangements, is increasingly a key people issue. In my view this book, although it is not as neatly structured as I would have liked, is a very useful resource.
"The Smarter Working Manifesto" is unquestionably written for employees and managers, so that part of the placement is easy enough. But despite the word "manifesto" in the title, the book stretches broadly along the other axis, containing as it does both the intellectual case and the practical how-to for creating the best, most productive physical and cultural environments for getting work done.
My use of the plural "environments" in the previous sentence was intentional. For while authors Guy Clapperton and Philip Vanhoutte are enthusiastic defenders of getting out of the office, they don't see, or sell, remote working as a one-size-fits-all solution. "Smarter working isn't about getting rid of the office," Clapperton writes in his introduction. "It's about getting rid of having only one option" (p. 23). A good portion of this book, in fact, is about office design -- how to literally construct workspaces to maximize productivity for information work (as befits, perhaps, Vanhoutte's perspective as a VP of audio technology company Plantronics, there's a surprising but welcome emphasis on the noise of the modern workplace and how to contain it). I particularly appreciated the part of this discussion titled "Your workspace, your brand," which argues the self-evident (but apparently controversial?) point that a company's physical spaces say a lot about what the company -- and particularly the company's leaders -- believe to be important. "Your office," the authors write, "should be not only functional but a pleasure for the right employee to visit; they may work remotely, but coming into base should feel like some sort of treat" (p. 95).
Though the section on office design may be the most unusual and distinctive part of "The Smarter Working Manifesto," it's only some of the ground the authors cover. Another key section explores building, equipping, and sustaining virtual teams, with emphasis on the importance of trust between managers and managed: "The need is to jettison the traditional employer-employee relationship in which the employer buys the staff's time and effort for money, and convert it into a productive working community based on positive contribution and mutual benefit" (p. 141). Again, this section includes both theory and practical steps, and many real-world examples.
Overall, this is one of the most idea-dense books I've yet come across on these topics. Yet it's also readable and engaging, and filled with practical "action points" a reader can put to work, even if you don't manage your company's facilities budget. And if you do, so much the better.
At the heart of this lies the principle of "working flexibly" from a space perspective, where it's appropriate including the office. Defying the one space fits all traditional approach that most organizations follow today. Four types of spaces are recognized as being acoustically distinct and needed: Spaces to Concentrate, Spaces to Collaborate, Spaces to Contemplate and Spaces to Communicate. Each space is optimal for a particular type of task, whether it is a birth of an idea, reflective thinking, collaboration or refueling.
In addition to the work space, technology is a key enabler of smarter working, as it has become more ubiquitous for personal use. Providing the workforce with appropriate support and training to leverage the technology effectively can significantly improve their effectiveness. The same goes for the soft skills required for working in a distributed fashion. An example of that is speech impact for virtual collaboration.
Last but not least, management is also transformed by smarter working, whether in career development or performance management. Throughout the book, the theme of trust re-appears as being essential for the move towards this new work dynamic.
An interesting read on changes within the workplace. My only criticism is that this book is based mostly on the transformational journey that Plantronics underwent towards working flexibly. While it does provide a concrete working case study, it is only one example and second it is a more recent one so it would be interesting to see how the journey continues over the next few years.
The workplace is continuously changing and companies are allowing employees to work from home or in the local starbucks. This book shows organizations how to navigate these ever-changing waters.