Modern work is terrible, modern work is amazing.
A manifesto for modern work
Modern work is broken. Everyone’s working like they’re still in the office, but “the office” has exploded into a dizzying constellation of tools, time zones, tasks, notifications, interruptions, emails, issues, chats, and back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back meetings. It’s a productivity-killing, morale-sapping burnout machine.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Done right, modern work is incredible. Productivity up, revenue up, morale up, engagement up; you’ll never look back once you get it right. With 50+ years of collective experience working at companies that pioneered remote & hybrid work, we know what it takes. Follow these 6 key principles, and you’re on your way.
Spare the meetings
The answer to everything can’t be “let’s have a meeting”. Zoom fatigue is real, and people need long stretches of heads down time to do deep work. Save meetings for the high-value stuff — collaborating, team-building, celebrating — and use async tools for the rest.
Write it down
Writing helps you clarify your thoughts and ideas before you share them. Writing makes your thoughts and ideas digestible for others. Writing doesn’t require everyone showing up at the same time. Writing is accessible. Writing is searchable. If it “could have been an email”, by all means. Default to writing.
Lead with context
“Butts in seats” micromanagement is a non-starter when you can’t see actual butts in actual seats. Instead, give people the context and coaching they need to consistently make decisions that move the business forward. High-autonomy teams are high-functioning teams.
Tell the future
You can learn from history, but you can change the future. That makes communicating intent across your org an actual superpower. When contributors communicate intent, leaders can course correct before hours/days/weeks/months get burned. When leaders communicate intent, contributors can make it happen without micro-management.
Keep ‘em talking
If you want to figure out what’s going on in the office, you can walk around and find out. Modern work needs more help. Clear, consistent, structured communication practices create a steady beat that keeps everyone in sync. Automate the whole thing and never ask for status updates again.
Track output, not input
When it comes to knowledge work, real productivity isn’t measured by hours clocked, meetings attended, how long a lunch break was, or number of emails sent. Set clear goals, and focus on output and outcomes instead.
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