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#WFH: Will You Innovate or Parish?

Organizations can also help the virtual worker connect with other people. Human connections and interactions are still the most important aspect of relationships. Knowing closeness with another matters in the face-to-face environment and also in the virtual world. By creating events and exchanges where people can meet and share personal experiences, companies can support individuals becoming closer to other human beings. These kinds of meet-ups do not happen without planning and support. The individual can reach out and connect, but the company can help support those connections. Just like the company picnic and the Christmas party, meeting and having fun, bonding and social exchanges bring people together. When people are emotionally closer, they act more openly and responsibly toward others.

The Pajama Effect is new and different and came upon us very quickly. Somewhere between the early 1990s, when we were just beginning to get connected, and the present day, our expectations changed. We expect different things from ourselves now and we expect different things from others. Our need for connection and gratification on the beach, in the grocery and at the ballgame keeps us attached to devices that run our personal, business and social lives. We expect to be able to get in touch with people anywhere in the world. We expect to communicate from anywhere and with anyone. We expect openness. We expect clarity. We expect understanding. We expect you to be there when we want to connect with you.

The degree and rate of change brought about by technology causes us to question everything. Just a few years ago saying, “I don’t know,” meant weakness; now it means openness and honestly. No one is an expert for long, no matter what the field. Things just change too quickly. We have come to expect change and to see things in a different light. What was fact yesterday will probably not be true tomorrow. Our attachment to beliefs, ideas and absolutes is giving way to a more fluid frame of mind. In many ways, our expectations are more unlimited. We want to be more, have more and do more, and we expect to be able to achieve this. This boundless environment has made setting our own boundaries even more important. Surprises, insights and discoveries are always just around the corner. Technologies will bring us something new.

While we are able to realize a more interdependent planet, it is imperative that each of us is capable and comfortable functioning independently. Our systems and structures may adapt or they may disappear. Many old and established organizations – religious, educational and business – will vanish. Failure is part of creativity and innovation. We live in an environment of innovate-or-perish. The virtual world doesn’t have time for pre-judgments and old assumptions. The “shoulds” of yesterday no longer apply to this world. Having an open mind and being willing to do things in new ways is the mode of operation in the pajama workplace. How you thought it was yesterday is not how it is today, and not how it will be tomorrow.

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