Working online & traveling the world| Alex Hillman in conversation with Parthajeet Sarma| Work Shots

Published by Darron Toy on



oh this is hell on earth for me the the biggest the biggest the biggest mistake is this new kind of workplace is something that employers do to their employees they don't involve the employees in the creative processing and I've got this thing in my pocket that connects me to the entire world and I can work with my team I can with my client but the beauty of being able to work like not I can do all my work for my phone but I can do important work from my phone means I can be here on the other side of the world and not just keep an eye on my business but be contributing to it not just know that my community is still there but actually participate and contribute in some sense do you think we're actually working more you know because of Technology you know that all rather are we getting more output now that is the double-edged sword of being able to work from anywhere I would definitely work more and I would argue most people work too much like I left a job to become a freelancer one of the things I wanted was control over when I worked I think a lot of people wanted that what I didn't know I needed was discipline to actually decide when I'm working and when I'm not historically work has always been a place whether it was you know in in the fields of farmers is it always been a physical place to go and the place indicated that I'm at work and that's not true anymore and so the barriers are gone the boundaries are gone and at the same time at no point in my education and I don't think in anybody's education was there a class that taught you how to create structure without place how to decide when you should be working and when you shouldn't and there's not a right or wrong answer but you have to make a choice but we have these these tools and these factors in our lives that have made it really easy to build bad habits right and I'm really curious about what we can do to reverse that and build good habits yeah I mean you're you're sensitive about your own habits and you try to be sorry and you're also kind of sensitive towards your people working with you yeah you want to make sure that they're getting enough sleep and all of that yeah but the poor guy is working in the air co-working spaces you know the digital normal set up now the some of them might have left a corporate sort of high paying job to actually do what they're doing now yeah and when you're working with a large corporate organization there is always a shower and they their HR policies who sort of take care of your kind of you know you are your key protocol and your well-being and they also ensure that you know your destiny or scenario like the only guys we've actually met that we're gonna take we're gonna take care of the social benefits you know that's a really good question I think there is not an answer yet I don't think that that can come from a top-down sort of thing when people are going out on their own I do think that as more people choose independence there's a serious need for resources and education and peer support I think if you're asking where the support comes from I think it comes from other individuals other independents other you know even other remote workers that can include having you know a coach I imagine a coach of some kind whose job it is to help you study and analyze your your your the hours that you work the hours that you sleep someone whose role it is is really to care for the mental health or those maybe not just the mental help put the whole health right of the individual and say like let's make sure we're looking at your eating habits and make sure we're looking at your sleeping habits you know do you pick up the phone every 15 seconds even if there's nothing to see they're all all the polity high performance people in the world or sake athletes or business people or really anything they have someone who works alongside them like a coach you like a coach to help them analyze what they're doing and make those little tweaks I don't think there's a single you know a change that can be made it's constant improvement constant self-analysis did you see a scenario where we will actually have probably you know digital coaches or do you think we'll actually have humans I think oh you mean artificial yeah the way you know ai and by day we actually might have robots telling us what to do tomorrow I mean I think that there are people that think they want that I am I'm pretty skeptical but part of the reason I'm skeptical of general AI anyway is we don't really understand how our brains work and I at the same time we know that our brains are nuanced and complex and if we can't figure out how that works my backgrounds in software and I have a lot of engine very smart engineering friends who have a hard time understanding the way their own brain works I don't believe that were anywhere near the capacity to understand how to build technology that that is even a near proximity to what our brain does in terms of understanding the nuance of another person at the best it's only going to tell me the answer to a question I already know to ask what I need is it to spot a question that I wasn't sure to ask yet so then I can have the one-on-one conversation with the person that the technology couldn't possibly do on its own you're doing a lot for your community you're thinking a lot to them yeah I think it's kind of inspiring your erstwhile employer or other large corporation to actually think of moving into co-working spaces much enterprise solution they're also provided by some of the large stores sure sure sure this guy I find quite bizarre in the sense like why do a large corporate who's got a hundred thousand employees want to move into a co-working space oh that's a very sick because you know it's it's an underutilized space and the space is fully designed what's the what is it very fashion accessories a fashion it's a fashion accessory and these companies want to be seen a certain way that they themselves don't know how to be seen right so it's not even an operational thing that we want to have a hip office it's we know that the people who don't want to work here don't want to work here because the office and more importantly the culture don't reflect who they believe they are it's very difficult right to align their own company's culture with the space that they are occupying additionally you can't change your culture by putting on a new costume and that's where a big break happens where corporates will you know carve out you know some chunk of space and say we're gonna hire a consultant and build a co-working space inside the work space I'm like well that's cool that you're you're thinking creatively but if you don't do the work to adjust and rehabilitate the culture to match the the work space so I'll give you a concrete example you know a company reaches out to me and they say you know we just spent you know two and a half million dollars turning one of the floors in one of our buildings into all Flex workspace and there's hot desking and there's breakout zones there's meeting spaces and huddle rooms and fireside like they've basically taken all the design patterns and they've implemented them and they bought all the nicest furniture and the lighting is beautiful and the employees come in and they hate it they hate it and we don't know why they hate it I would just we put in all this work and it's so nice why don't they like it and I go well did you did you tell them how to use it did you tell them how it could help them do their work better well we told them that you know it's meant to be clever them like that doesn't mean anything yeah I mean collaboration is I think that I've overrated doesn't it Lonnie I think that's a really important point you need the collaboration isn't inherently a good thing it is a good thing when it's strategic but you need to be thinking about who is collaborating what the outcome of the collaboration needs to be more importantly do those people have a built-in desire to collaborate or maybe worse do they have a built-in support need more commonly do they have built-in reasons to not want to collaborate and now you've taken people who don't actively don't want to collaborate and put them in an environment that encourages and do something that is antithetical to the culture and I'll tell you like why that's so common you've got the positional you know hierarchy within these companies you also have the invisible hierarchy right so you tell me that I'm supposed to collaborate with these people when we're all vying for the same potential promotion why would I put my energy into helping them promoted over me and that mentality is it's both reality but more importantly it's the mentality that makes people look at the the the carbon copy of co-working that's put into all these other corporate environments and go this is hell on earth it from me you're you're you're basically creating moment to moment to moment risk moment to moment to moment fear and when people fear are coming from place to fear they are absolutely not gonna collaborate the the biggest the biggest the biggest mistake is this new kind of workplace is something that employers do to their employees they don't involve the employees in the creative process in the in the design process in the how are we gonna use this to do our jobs better process all of the cultural problems and all the operational problems could be solved by co-creation do you think it's a bubble out there I have friends in real estate and you know in India they have about 550 co-working players and he says a couple of my friends is the most of the deals that I do now I prefer working days so I see my neighbor doing it over things because I also want to do it and they're trying to get in like no 500 people thousand people from one corporate organization to move in yep that segment you know we suggest about moving somebody from a individual building to a co-working space you see a bubble out there I mean I wouldn't define that as a bubble I define it as a short term trend if you look at the history of workplace trends there's a lot of things that grow really fast and then fizzle out very quickly because no one uses it for a bunch of very good reasons I think workplace trends tend to travel really quickly because business leadership is often looking for a fast solution not an enduring solution not a durable solution and I think the kind of co-working that you're describing is a fast solution and I would argue maybe not even a solution to anything it's just that they do and those places will you know they'll shift back into service office although shift into something else and you'd run analogy with the retail banking I don't need to go to a bank anymore my father needed food because we needed to return money sir you see workplace trends going data that we actually don't need space and the need for realistic will actually come down ah I don't think so I mean I don't think it's ever gonna go away a hundred percent I could ascend of course I could see you I can see redemption I can see reduction where are you seeing reduction we're seeing increased efficiency I mean you what you walk into any corporate office building it's very rare for it to be fully occupied it may be fully leased but there's a there's a buffer and and I think that the mix of technology and the changing workforce means we can just be more efficient in how we use space we're at the I think the very beginning of having really good tools that allow real work to be done not in the same physical place yeah we're looking at a very highly efficient future and so that's why I think that it's not that we need physical places that we need to gather knit and the real world still does that in ways that I don't think technology ever can or will again because we don't fully understand it ourselves that is the reason why we met in person I could have done this over a venture will have a better relationship going forward online I agree thank you so much more to make this my absolute pleasure the camera doesn't turn yep little bit like that okay it's just grown and grown and grown and grown grown and grown and grown


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