You have probably noticed all the major corporations promoting their WFH schemes as if they had discovered the mystery of the universe, it is interesting to step back a moment and see what it means. Here, at Hold Everything, we know all about working from home but from the perspective of small businesses and independent-minded freelancers. Most company employees are not Working From Home. as a clever Flexi policy (#WFH) they are trapped in their homes working for the same corporation in the context of a pandemic.
It makes me chuckle that right now companies are patting themselves on the backs for ‘opening the floodgates’ to flexibility when really they had no choice but to release everyone into their homes. If they didn’t Zoom in over the last eight months, they’d have had to shut down. I came across a very interesting report by Sir Robert McAlpine and social change agency Claremont entitled ‘Forever Flex: Flexible working beyond a pandemic’. What the report found was that 2020 is not the time to hail a flexible working revolution because people are burning out by always being ‘on’. We’re in a period of ‘fake flex’ where employees are competing to prove their worth by logging on 24/7 and in turn, aren’t taking a break, resulting in them breaking.
So whilst corporate employees suddenly see themselves in the same universe as ‘true freelancers’ they are, in reality, poles apart. They are not actually ‘digital nomads’ strolling on some Indonesian beach with a laptop in a canvas bag. They are just corporate fodder tied to their own home waiting for the next Zoom request from their line managers. It might well be, that these WFH corporate employees will eventually morph into true freelancers/consultants and independent businessmen because of redundancy or general corporate cutbacks. When this happens, and the apron strings that have tied them to the big banks and consultancies are finally cut, they will take advantage of what a virtual office can offer them. It is only then that they will see the real benefits of #WFH by setting a genuine flexible life/work schedule without having to be grateful for every crumb of head office support allocated to them as they sit in their cramped kitchens.
During the COVID-19 year, we have had a stream of new clients come to us who are seeking the true ‘sunny uplands’ that working for yourself can bring. So let’s not confuse being outsourced to your own home by corporate necessity and choosing an independent life supported by companies like Hold Everything.