I had an unusual week this week. I worked from home but I also attended meetings in two major European Capital cities…in person! I met old friends and new potential partners. I made new connections and discussed new and future opportunities. I travelled of course, but they were both short trips (in time) but longer (in distance). It was a very different – but potentially very successful – week.
I am not a big enthusiast for working from home. I enjoy the extra time I have with my family of course – assuming they happen to be in the house when I am. My wife enjoys me being there to share lunch and coffee/tea breaks. But is less happy if I want to use her computer and printer to sign and scan a signature. Overall it never feels quite the same as working from work.
Research and Development is a social science. Some may say that science is a social science…I could debate that one. But Research definitely is. We learn from each other. We build on each other’s ideas and listen intently to each other’s insights and observations. We draw – and modify – plans on pieces of paper or on white boards. We meet formally and we meet informally. We network.
Most really good ideas…ideas that lead to innovation or big impact…come from such interactions…they always do. We have to encourage these moments – personally and organisationally – and encourage ourselves to participate in these moments. With our teams and with our partners
And these interactions are energising. Every time we interact and communicate and share ideas…we share energy with each other. We know this is true. If we are more extrovert by nature, we find these moments energy giving. If we are more introvert by nature we find them more energy sapping. Energy is being transferred (somehow).
So my relative lack of enthusiasm for working from home is not just about me, but it is about the work that we do, and how we do it well…or better.
I recognise of course that that there are situations where any of us have little or no choice about working from home. These are specific and are very good situations and we always make them work. I also realise that others of us have little or no choice about only working at work.
So back to my Capital (City) meetings this week. I left both thinking differently about different topics than when I arrived – makes both a success in my book. And in both we agreed to think more, talk more and then follow up again…a classic process to take an idea from just an idea to a potential reality.
I also found myself telling lots of other people about the meetings. About the people I met, about the topics we discussed and about the ideas that I heard. Granted I was doing all this by telephone since I was working from home. But it was only happening because of those social moments.
My other tell-tale sign? Whenever I was talking later in the week about those Capital ideas, I always found myself walking around the house. I could not sit still. I was too excited and too energised. Probably another reason why me working from home is not ideal for me…
I can’t guarantee that either idea will come to fruition. But I am sure both are real opportunities. I am confident my short visits helped them appear. I do know I am still thinking about both. And I am certain I will discuss them more this week. To everyone I meet.
I am excited…and energised.