Why HR should kill off parent-child workplace dynamics

by Sarah Megginson24 Sep 2014
Democratic, collegiate management styles are overtaking the traditional parent-child relationship often fostered between managers and team members, in part due to increasingly flexible working arrangements.
 
It’s difficult to authoritatively police workers when they’re not in front of you, and remote workers currently represent one-third of the workforce. By 2015, 37% of the world’s labour force ­– or roughly 1.3bn people – will identify as mobile workers, according to global technology research firm IDC.
 
This figure is set to continue increasing, reported Ipsos researcher Dr Rebecca Huntley, which is why employers can’t ignore the fact that technology has “revolutionalised our daily routines, our work lives, family lives, social lives and leisure time”.
 
“Work, and the functions of work, will become more sentient, anticipatory and predictive as the Internet 
of Things anticipates our movements, objectives and work patterns,” Huntley said.
 
“Technology has… freed us from the very physical and restrictive demands of wires, cabling, desktop and cumbersome storage systems, and enabled us to live in the cloud. But this is only the beginning of the journey.”
 
In ‘Life on demand: How technology is transforming daily life’, a report Huntley prepared in collaboration with Microsoft, she also revealed that modern workplaces will need to become “agile, weightless, innovative and always open to embracing the new”.
 
“Flexible, collegiate ways of working are eroding the parent-child style relationships between managers and team members that have been commonplace in the workplace until now,” she added.
 
“As a result, we’ll see greater levels of trust, autonomy, and accountability in work, as exemplified by the flexible patterns.”

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