It is the cry that has echoed out through workplaces for a couple of decades:
“Can I have my old computer back, please?”
Change is good, we are told. The newly delivered shiny kit has more ‘features and benefits’.
It is new and improved. And yet, for a while at least, we miss the familiar old machine that seemed to work okay and rarely let us down.
This is the background to the growing trend in companies and organisations to allow or even encourage employees to ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD). On the face of it this could be a nightmare for procurement staff. It’s anarchy! All purchasing discipline has been abandoned.
And yet the BYOD policy recognises that people’s personal preferences matter. We like to use the gadgets we are most familiar with. Indeed, sometimes the PC/tablet/laptop/phone we use at home may be better than the machines we are expected to use at work.
Most of us now have to work a lot more flexibly. We may not have to show up in the office, but we do have to complete tasks on time. It has meant growth in remote working and working from home. And this has forced us all to get better at mastering different items of technology in a range of settings.
This is why employers are right to have a more broad-minded approach to the devices being used by staff. Treat us as grown-ups and we will behave in a grown-up way. We will get our work done with the help of gadgets we understand. Relax, all you professional buyers out there. This is one area where it is okay to allow employees to make their own purchasing decisions.
☛ See the BYOD feature
Summer is here finally (in the northern hemisphere). Sort of. You don’t have to be a true believer in climate change to recognise that the weather has been a bit odd of late. But whatever the temperature, it is time to stop work, relax,
and recharge. That is the way to build the sort
of resilience we all need to survive in this high pressure world of work. This is the sort of resilience that, famously, Gerald Ratner has
shown over his working life.
Not many of us could have come back from watching your business empire collapse. Imagine seeing shop fronts, with your name above the door, being sold and closed down. Think about what it must feel like to have newspapers mocking you and every amateur retail pundit in the high street telling you where you went wrong.
Ratner’s collapse came in the pre-internet, pre-Twitter era. Yet still it came chillingly fast. One light-hearted quip to the Institute of Directors conference, in an attempt to keep delegates awake, was all it took. But look at him now: in business and succeeding again.
You won’t necessarily come back from holiday as a new, latter-day Ratner, ready to conquer the retail sector. But you may at least have a spring in your step. Have a good break. You have earned it.
☛ Read the full interview with Gerald Ratner
☛ Stefan Stern is director of strategy at PR firm Edelman
and visiting professor of management practice at
Cass Business School