Autonomy: the key to successful mobile working
Some companies still have an old-fashioned view of work, especially when it comes to mobile working. Mobile work is thought of just the equivalent of replacing office with home, with additional problems related to greater difficulty in balancing private life with work. The predominant view of workers is that without strong supervision they would not be motivated to do their jobs well. It’s an ineffective model, especially when applied to jobs in which creativity and initiative are essential, jobs that today cover most of the world economy.
Autonomy and trust thus have an inseparable boundary. Fostering autonomy, rather than reducing it, increases the individual responsibility. In the leader’s mind, therefore, there must no longer be an image of an employee opportunistically taking advantage of the freedom that have gained to reduce her commitment. This freedom must lead to the development of the intrinsic motivation of the employee to work better.
Fear of the dark: unfounded fear to overcome
However, are we sure that all workers are aware of the potential that a trust-based work system has? Often a great freedom can make us feel fear. Fear is the main one among our inner saboteurs. Taking a moment to analyze our fears is the most useful thing we can do to reduce our stress and at the same time maintain a good level of efficiency and effectiveness in the way we work. The first thing we need to pay attention to is “the peace of mind” that habit gives us. Generally, we are not frightened by our habit but rather by what is new. A new task? A new goal? Or simply a new tool we need to learn to use? Any new, anything that we don’t know, forces us to break our habits and this does incline to destabilize us.
Changing our approach to welcome what is new, is protecting us from the negative feelings. Let’s take up the challenge. Without becoming fanatic about being competitive at any cost, let’s activate the hero in us and bring it out.
Build a Lego castle
The best way to bring out the hero in us and overcome the fear that limit us is to leverage our superpowers: our skills. Those that no one else can have and that are ours precisely because no individual can be the same as another. At the same time let’s consider also our weaknesses. This help us evaluate ourselves. And then put our strengths and weaknesses on the table.
Now let’s play Lego. Try to give shape to a castle by building it with the famous bricks. Let’s choose some colors that represent the defects and negative experiences collected, other colors that instead express the merits and positive experiences, the achievements and everything that has taught us something. Only in dividing the colors we will realize that many negative experiences have taught us things that have then led to achievements or improvements in our personality or our life. And vice versa. Let’s start fitting the bricks one on top of the other based on this logic. We will get a structure that represents our personality, our “I” and our character. It allows us to have a clear idea of our strengths and weaknesses, helping us to identify the skills that we can develop and that will help us in the world of work. A castle that may have an unusual shape but is certainly colorful!
Having clarified the role and weight that our skills have, we can overcome the fear of too much autonomy and live our relationship with agile work with greater serenity. The greater our awareness of our own skills is, the better our approach to our work sphere becomes, which in a world that increasingly demands mobile working must be reconciled with our private lives, always looking for new ideas for improvement and aiming to achieve a positive work-life balance.