Whenever I hear about changes in the workplace, I think of the Portlandia skit where Julia is meandering through one of those modern, techie workplaces where cubicles have been replaced with bouncy balls, slides, and “The Basket.” (Watch the skit to the end to see what I mean.)
The subject of work and workplaces has been a recurring theme on CBC Radio’s The Current. The show recently revealed that millennials are cobbling together part-time jobs and delaying life events because of financial insecurity. And some businesses — even so-called traditional ones like TD Bank — are creating workspaces that do indeed get rid of cubicles in favour of large open spaces where employees can interact.
I was pleased to see a favourite company of mine, Precision Nutrition, featured today on The Current. PN was presented as an example of a company whose structure follows that of a holacracy: authority is distributed evenly among workers, who have roles and not titles. Holacracy (ideally) gets rid of bureaucracy and ego-driven behavior in favour of worker efficiency and autonomy. Gortex has been a holacracy for half a century, and Zappos is about to follow suit.
I think holacracy could very well bring authenticity and productivity to the workplace. And maybe it would give freelancers easier access to a company because there would be more workers with hiring autonomy (we freelancers can hope!).
All this positivity doesn’t mean I don’t want to see a funny skit about it, though (did you follow my double negative there?).