The other day it snowed where I live. Couple inches, nothing big, but icy. My nineteen-year-old daughter went out earlier in the day, before the snow started, for coffee with her closest friends. I call them the “core four” (pardon to the Yankee fans). These four have been together since they were infants, and although they attend different schools around the country, they stay very close.
I was out myself doing errands and realized it was far too dangerous and unnecessary for 19-year-old girls to be driving around and it was time they went home. So I went to the coffee shop and took the responsibility to tell them all to go home, not just my daughter. I am close with all the parents and would want them to do the same for me and my daughter. It’s about taking care of not just your own, but everyone around you, as best you can.
Why am I sharing this? Because I feel the same way at work. And I think part of the success I have experienced and seen in others is their ability to not just watch out for themselves, but to help everyone around them, and take care of their own as if they were your own. In this new way to work world we live in, life melds between work and personal all the time, and so, it behooves us to recognize that the lines aren’t cut and dry, and we need to watch out for each other – call it the humanity of collaboration – not just when we are collaborating on a project during the day, but also being in contact at night, when people take late trains home alone, or get stuck in an airport overnight. They may not “work for you” directly, but extending that humanity builds trust that goes beyond the daily 9-5. That is what New Way to Work has to be about, just as much as the ability to sit on a park bench and work on that next project deliverable anytime, anywhere.
NW2W isn’t about the technology, it’s about the people.