The white-collar worker is freed. Thanks to Corona
Earthlings needed some cooling.
Thank you, Rona, you are such a beauty. All the years invested in perfecting the elevator speech gone down the drain. Gone in 6 months. Fine-dining skills made irrelevant. Corporate Dinners suspended.
No need to leverage exceptional grooming and upbringing in separating yourself from the rest. We are working from home, no one cares about your designer suit anymore. Oh corona, you are such a darling. What an equalizer.
We wouldn’t be working from home if it weren’t for you. We would still be trapped in a toxic centralized environment. Trembling with reverence when we meet the CEO in the elevator.
Pretending to be super-busy when the boss walks past your workstation. The false pretense is gone. We are free now.
Corona, what have you done? No jacket and tie for the accountant, and the risk analyst. The facade is no longer necessary. It has never been. Executives and senior management have been blinded by denial for a long time. Now it is apparent.
The façade, the controls, the dress-code, code of conduct, exuberance, the show, do not necessarily increase productivity. Now its eyes on the ball, work done, service performed. Value-created, Value-added, Output. The focus is on value. Everything else is just a distraction.
Thank you, Corona. Job well done. A correction was overdue. Mean-reversion is normalization. The “New Normal” is normal. The “Old Normal” was abnormal. Denormalization of the Old Normal is the Normalization of the “New Normal”. Poetic Justice.
Stay with us for another year. We need you. Cleanse us of our impurities. Continue to prune all that is artificial and superficial in our corporate lives. Until we are all real. Dissolve everything fake.
Earthlings needed some cooling. We were burning ourselves into the ground. Forced sabbatical, lockdown you are welcome. Healing of the nations. The 9 to 5 grind was pinning a lot of people down.
Whilst the corporations have always been real. The culture and the environment have largely been fake. The rituals that were mistakenly associated with professionalism and excellence are in the process of being found out and exposed. The rituals that signify corporate success are facing the test of relevance. Is this really necessary?
The North Korean power-play rituals and parades. You question their relevance because you are free. You have known freedom. Before the pandemic, we performed the rituals religiously without question.
We had never asked ourselves if the rituals were actually adding value. Some miss the rituals, most don’t. They are meaningless and tiresome.
Business trips. Conferences. Travel and Subsistence. Filing paper copies. “File them in alphabetic order, and then by date sequence”, that’s what the manager said. Well, it’s all digital now. The filing ritual has changed.
Printing and Stationery. What are you printing? Why are you printing? Do you really need to? Corporate excesses are merely consumption rituals.
The white-collar worker had built a life around a routine. Several rituals are becoming irrelevant. Preparing to go to work. Packing lunchboxes. Long commutes to work. Sitting in traffic. Watercooler chatter. Meetings. The Lunch Hour that you cannot utilize for school runs. More meetings. Endless meetings. Another hectic journey back to the crib. It is easy to get burned out.
Thank you, Corona. Management is discovering that most workers are Theory Y after all. Decades wasted in assuming that most workers are Theory X.
The obsessive controls have to dissolve. No threats and tight monitoring, but work is still getting done. Management by Wandering around — gone to the dustbin.
Centralization is replaced by decentralization. Corporate tyranny getting replaced by corporate freedom. The White-collar worker is now free.
Corona, we love you.
But don’t overstay your welcome.
I write creative solutions on business management, business models, macroeconomics, central banking, fintech and financial analysis.