I'm the founder of FutureWork IQ where I spend my time assisting businesses to improve their climate literacy so as to understand the projected impacts from the expanding climate crisis and how to adapt their workplaces in the face of these impacts.

I often get asked: “What do you mean when you say ‘you have to design a digital workplace’ that enables effective anywhere-working?”

Often the best way to answer this is to show an example of what a workplace looks like that is attempting anywhere working without designing it.

Here is a classic example. Read and weep as this new employee gets to experience what working in such an unstructured environment is like first-hand:

“Even on Day 1, people forgot I was there. I went to [a virtual] onboarding meeting in the morning and then no one said anything the rest of the day.”

“But it was always this feeling of ‘Do people know I am here?’”

“‘This isn’t normal. People should be helping us more. They need to answer questions now, not in three days.’”

“From the start, I had questions like ‘What am I supposed to be doing all day?’ People keep forgetting I am here.”

“People were busy so I could never get questions answered. There was not a culture of responding quickly.”

“When you are a new employee, you have so many questions. Like ‘What are the rules for saving document names?’ That’s a type of question you need answered immediately. In an office, if you see someone not busy, you can just ask them. When you’re [remote], you can’t tell. So I would just sit there with the document open, unsure what to do, waiting for someone to tell me what to name it. I felt so stupid.”

The above folks is what a workplace is like that has spent zero time DESIGNING a work-from-anywhere digital workplace.

Now that you have read this horror story contrast it with this first-hand experience of stepping into a well designed digital workplace as a new employee — Welcome to Automattic: The Onboarding Experience