At Mindfire, we recently had a proposal to have one day of the week as “Work From Home” (WFH) for everyone.
A day working at home would allow a day’s escape from the commute. It would enable flexibility in planning personal stuff, including spending time with family.
The ideal day was Friday. Practically, it would mean Fridays blending seamlessly into the weekend, and undiluted weekends. People with family few hours away could travel overnight on Thursday, work from home on Fridays, and have two full days at home. And it would make Fridays a little more fun and a little more free!
Awesome! Doable? Hmm.
We shared the idea with people at our Bangalore center, to gauge response and interest. It quickly became obvious that people loved it! Given Bangalore’s epic traffic and commute problems, it was not surprising that most people preferred to avoid the roads.
Of course, there are some problems. Some people may have connectivity issues and actually prefer to work in office. Some people may have hardware or device-dependent work which cannot be taken home. Some work may need bandwidth which is not available at home. And certain work (such as Hiring) simply has to be done at office.
But there are enabling factors. First is our 100% laptop environment, which allows both mobility and reduces power-cut issues due to battery backup. Second is availability of cheap and reliable Internet connections. Third is the Mindfire culture – of being outcome-oriented instead of needing to see people sitting at their desks.
There is the gnawing problem of unfairness for people who cannot enjoy Friday WFH because their work cannot be done from home. Will they enjoy the joy of others? Or will they hate a facility they are excluded from?
It is a balanced risk. People understand if they have work issues at home, they need to rush to office. People also understand that freedom and flexibility come with responsibility. And that good things come hard, but go easy!
To test the waters, we are rolling this out at our Bangalore center from August 22, Friday.
This is a trial, an experiment in Work 2.0. If there are problems with work, it will have to be discontinued. If it works, it will be rolled out at our Bhubaneswar and Delhi centers as well. Helping positive ideas succeed enables us to do more, to move forward, while failing takes us a step backward.
Will it work? I will update what we find out! Life is discovery.