Shaping the future norms of work

Sara Järvi24.11.2016FranticReading time 2 min

I’ve started my day probably just like you have. Under the covers, scrolling through emails and Slack messages. But when I look out of my window, instead of darkness I see a palm tree swaying in the breeze.

In a few minutes, I’ll dip into the pool instead of dipping my feet in the snow. And then I’ll start working while sipping on fresh coconut water (I’m not even exaggerating, they sell cheap coconuts nearby).

Sounds utopian, right? When I heard about our first remote office experiment, that’s what I thought, too. Soon I realized that my mind was dead set on traditional ways of seeing work. I’ve never really questioned that winters in Finland mean grueling morning commutes in the dark, a big coffee or six, and a day spent under the glaring office lights. But who said that this is the only way to go?

The way we work is changing at a rapid pace. Old ways of working are becoming obsolete and new norms are introduced, driven by workers’ demands and made possible by evolving technologies. We’re in a phase in history where technology is enabling remote work like never before, with tools developing right before our eyes. Some companies have already embraced the future rules of work wholeheartedly, and thrive with a completely scattered workforce.

For us at Frantic, it all started with a question. A single question can be enough to cause a powerful mental shift — moving from why to why not. When that mindset changes, a world of opportunities opens up.

Shaping our work culture one question at a time

Preceding the idea of the remote office experiment, my colleagues asked each other something. Why should we put up with the depressing Finnish winter, when there are other options? As we’re already accustomed to working from the comfort of our couches at home, why couldn’t we do it from abroad? And so we did.

Shaping the norms of the future doesn’t just happen. It begins by someone questioning existing norms. We’re lucky to have a company culture that encourages this, be it about where, when, or how we work. This way we’re constantly evolving, and maybe even giving some of those norms a nudge in the process.

This culture of questioning extends to how we approach our clients’ business problems, and even how we talk on Slack. Why should we do something in a certain way, just because it’s always been done like that? Could there be a better way? As the pace of change is faster than ever before, a mindset of constant questioning is imperative for survival, for digital services, individuals, and businesses alike.

However, choosing not to take the easy and familiar route is not without its obstacles, and requires a lot from the individuals and businesses involved. But no progress is ever made by doing things how they’ve always been done.