This is the last week in our Brisbane head office after almost five years of growth, fun, challenge and excitement. Our forward thinking CEO Sue-Ellen has decided if we are to truly consult to our client base on the future of work, we need to test the theories ourselves.

There are plenty of theories about what the future of work will look like. Many based on historical data and trends. From our research there is consensus that workforces will become more remote.

Technology enables remote working, but are we ready to manage it?

We are entering the final stages of gestation, after nine months of preparation and nurturing, labour is imminent and if not born naturally over the weekend we are booked in for a cesarean at 8:30AM Monday morning.

Like all expecting parents we have a mix of emotions. When new babies enter the world they bring responsibility and inevitably change life as it once was.

A somewhat unconventional team of proud parents are ready to embark on a new journey.

wattsnext is a SME that consults to SME’s on how to get more out of their human capital investment. HR consultants with a commercial, forward thinking approach. Proud early adopters, wattsnext have the largest digital footprint of any HR company in the Asia Pacific and have built IP and methodologies by largely testing them on ourselves. Our ideal client is a fast growth SME with between 10 and 80 staff.

We are a ready-made experimental hub, living through real life commercial and staffing challenges. Why not find out first-hand how to overcome the challenges of remote working, we might even benefit if the research is accurate.

“What a great idea, you are very forward thinking and courageous to experiment like this……but it wouldn’t work for our business”

If I had a dollar for every time I have heard this statement we could pay another years rent!

When talking to our network pre-birth we have been predominantly admired for trying it however the idea has immediately been dismissed as viable for themselves.

Let’s be honest, as a general rule people don’t love change. They rarely seek it out, in fact it is likely they avoid it at all costs. Our team was no different, when the ideas was originally floated there were mixed reactions.

‘Will I have a desk to put my photo’s on?’

‘what about our team meetings?’

‘How can we sustain our culture?’

‘There will be an issue with collaboration, we solve a lot of issues in an open office’

The virtual lab is ready, we have invested in new Apple hardware for everyone and all of our systems and platforms have been migrated to the cloud. Being an experiment we expect there to be ups, downs, failures and triumphs. Learning is non-negotiable.

Successful or not, wattsnext will be the most informed Human Resources consultancy on the nuances of remote working.

Prior to the birth we have decided on a name, we are naming her #ProjectFOW.

Unlike new parents that only show the cute baby photo’s, we will be blogging and reporting on the good, the bad and the ugly of remote working.

Author: Ben Watts
Ben is a veteran in the HR space- a forward-thinking leader specialising in functional business structures and people performance techniques. With twenty years’ experience managing large ASX listed corporates across multiple industries, Ben adds depth and expertise to our clients' strategy solutions, genuinely providing a commercial result for their investment.