‘Veldgids vertrouwen’ en Het Nieuwe Werken (HNW)

24 april 2013

Het-Nieuwe-WerkenAfgelopen week ontvingen we een uitnodiging voor een bijeenkomst over het nieuwe werken. Dat lijkt al over zijn hoogtepunt heen te zijn. De afgelopen periode hoor je er wat minder van. Er zijn ook wat teleurgestelde reacties. Het meest beroemde is het besluit van de directeur van Yahoo om thuiswerken weer te verbieden. Maar ook op andere plekken hoor je gerommel. Het is niet voor iedereen weggelegd, blijkt. En of het rendement zo hoog is als beloofd? Daar zijn ook al weer twijfels over.

Terwijl het toch een mooi idee is. Plaats- en tijd onafhankelijk kunnen werken. Afgerekend worden op je resultaten. Vrijheid om je dag in te delen zodat je je meest productieve uren daadwerkelijk benut. Minder micro-sturing, maar sturing op resultaat. Waar gaat dit dan toch mis?

Doel en middel zijn verwisseld

Allereerst is het (zoals bij vele hypes) een doel op zichzelf geworden. Terwijl het één van de vele middelen is, die mogelijk ingezet kan worden om productiviteit te verhogen en overhead te verlagen. Of om de arbeidsvreugde te verhogen – ook een legitiem doel om aan te werken. Die doel-middel conversie betekent dat HNW een doel op zichzelf werd – en inmiddels vragen we ons weer af, waarom doen we het ook alweer? Logisch gezien een vraag voor het begin van een traject, maar in de praktijk komt die vraag vaak achteraf.

Het Nieuwe Werken als totaaloplossing

Nog zo’n logisch foutje: iedereen moest eraan geloven. Hele organisaties gingen om. Maar of het wel zo verstandig is om je financiële administratie zo in te richten? En kan iedere werknemer hier wel mee omgaan? Heeft iedereen de zelf-discipline (de ‘zelf- control’) en voldoende zekerheid over de eigen competenties (vertrouwen in het zelf) om dit aan te kunnen? Sommige mensen gedijen nou eenmaal veel beter met stevige structuren. Haal die weg en ze worden doodongelukkig. HNW is dus geen ‘one size fits all’ oplossing.

Het Nieuwe Werken zet vertrouwen op een voetstuk

Een andere teleurstelling heeft alles met vertrouwen en control te maken. Vertrouwen is neergezet als het alternatief voor control. “Managers,” roepen de HNW goeroes, “vertrouw je mensen! Geef ze de ruimte en ze zullen ongekende prestaties leveren! Control is overbodig!” Nu hebben we in ons boek laten zien dat vertrouwen en control totaal verschillende concepten zijn. Vertrouwen gaat over relaties, over elkaar door en door kennen, over weten waar je aan toe bent met de ander. Control is een systeem voor beheersing, gebouwd op logica, laat je zien hoe processen in elkaar zitten. Als je iemand vertrouwt wil dat nog niet zeggen dat je control op orde is, dat je grip hebt op de zaak.

Het Nieuwe Werken vermindert juist het vertrouwen

Een ander probleem bij HNW zit ook weer in dat vertrouwen. Vertrouwen vraagt dat je elkaar vaak ziet, weet waar je mee bezig bent, echt en vaak contact hebt met elkaar. Dat contact is nou net iets dat HNW moeilijker maakt als het gaat om de samenwerking binnen een organisatie. Mensen zijn op rare tijden wel en niet aanwezig, je komt elkaar veel minder tegen bij de koffie automaat. Dat leidt automatisch tot MINDER vertrouwen – en niet meer. Die arme manager! Die ziet zijn mensen dus nauwelijks meer maar moet ze wel vertrouwen? Dat kan gewoon niet.

Dan maar overboord? Of niet?

Toch blijven wij fans van HNW. Want ja, het biedt mensen meer ruimte om te werken op de tijden en plaatsen dat ze uitkomt. En maak je daar goed gebruik van, dan kom je ook op meer plaatsen terecht dan alleen het suffe kantoor waar je met z’n alle in bent gehuisvest. Een manier van doen die je kunt toevoegen aan je management-repertoire. Maar als manager vragen we ons ook af, of je in deze context wel kunt sturen met vertrouwen. Is goed gedoseerde control dan niet gewoon een betere strategie? Heldere opdrachten verstrekken, strakke deadlines aanhouden, kwaliteitseisen stellen aan het resultaat? Dat geeft toch gewoon duidelijkheid? Is daar wat mis mee dan?

Als vooroordelen over control je belemmeren om die in te zetten, dan moet je bij het nieuwe werken in veel gevallen het idee van sturing maar overboord zetten, denken wij. Dan kan je net zo goed géén manager aanstellen. En kijken wat er dan gebeurt…

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14 Responses to ‘Veldgids vertrouwen’ en Het Nieuwe Werken (HNW)

  1. Jeroen Oudenaarden
    24 april 2013 at 11:37

    Met dat laatste statement ben ik het wel eens. Manager overboord en vertrouwen in zelfredzaamheid!!

    PS, jullie komen wel toch, kunt namelijk niet remote inbellen 😉

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