Smart working? So let's change the Out of Office

Smart working? So let's change the Out of Office
If we are really ready to accept the institutionalized, metabolized, integrated and fully accepted entry of smart working within the working realities, then we must also accept the forced cancellation of a terminology that risks making a lot of confusion by virtue of the axioms that bring along.

If we really want to evolve our way of working, we need to put aside what is afferent to the old ways: not to forget them, but to make the old patterns immovable. If we want to think of new ways, we must first use new words to draw on new concepts. The same concept of vacation could change, so why not change the previous moment, the one in which we communicate to everyone that we are about to disconnect?

Exactly, we have to put the traditional and pre-holiday "Out of Office" at the door . Now, today.

OoO: Out of Office?

Out of Office (OoO), the standard message that comes in response to those who write to us while we are not at work. "Out of Office" means just that: I'm out of the office, so ask a colleague, or wait for him to return to work. Inside a message of "Out of Office" there was a nice phrase or an extremely concise one, then it was filled with information about the references to contact and the expected date of return to full operation.

Out of Office message is a message, but also a ritual: it is the last thing you do before closing the season's work, put your slippers and enter in a mode “holiday”. This, at least, in the collective imagination that has brought the Out of the Office to become a standard real, so much so that Gmail provides for the composition in the form of “ auto Responder”.

Out of the Office, however, lives an axiom that goes to decay, that is, the fact that being in office is tantamount to be at work, while being out of the office amounts to not be at work. This is not so, or at least is no longer. And probably will not be more. Out of Office is one of the embroidery of an old way of thinking about the architecture of the work, its times, its spaces, and its rites. Accept the concept of the Out of Office in 2020 (especially in this 2020, after all that has happened) means to accept the effect of the cave described by Hall, it means relinquishing the prophecy of the new ways the dynamics of collaboration, means to give up oneself to understand that you can safely elect a bench, a coworking space, a living room or any point of support to the new temporary headquarters for their activities.

Think about it this year while you are going to write (if you write) your “Out of Office”. Think about it responsibly, instead of putting down the message in a hurry before closing the suitcase.

OoW: Out of Work

Out of Work (OoW) is a definition that best suits the use to the time of smart working and telework-imposed isolation. Out of Work can mean something more concrete and disconnected from a physical space: not out of the office with the body, but it is out of the work with the mind. Out-of-Work is a message that goes beyond the right to disconnect: is equal to that which could be the previous “Out of Office”, but by rescheduling the words to give it a sense more in keeping.

Even this definition, however, doesn't capture fully the situation, because in the time of smart working, not only the spaces and make liquids, but also the times. The “right” to disconnect turns more into the freedom of disconnection, but anyone who has a heart to work with every chance to throw an eye on emergencies always. Out of Work means being then formally on vacation, enjoy the freedom to not be fundamental in a given time, or at least of being able to claim a moment of rest, before starting again (not exactly a “leave me alone”, but still a boundary line drawn between what is professional duty, and that which is personal right).


in cases Where the smart working makes it all the more confusing and fluid, which is “Out of Office” or “Out of Work” claim their “Out” is important. It is a moment of leisure, of social commitment, of distancing from the work routine, healthy sleep, fun, or whatever can be useful to recharge the batteries.

Then rivendichiamolo. We prepare our e-mail official. In our, we will put a link to this article. We will explain that for emergencies we will always be available, but that the urgency must be such a collective duty because of the personal need to be respected.

“ Out ” as the claim of the rest are “Out” as an evolution of the concept of work: can't really change what is “In” if l'”Out” no place of repentance for logical consequence. The term “Offline” would not work because you are not credible: “online”, is a condition that de facto that we carry with us, incarnate in a SIM, a freedom which is not rinunceremmo as an integral part of leisure, even before the professional one.

Then we will reach a day not to distinguish them even more, making the flow of the work, which is so fluid and continuous that the detachment will not serve you more. When the man followed the rhythms of nature, not overlooked the timing of the work: she followed him and was getting married in a dance of daily life in which were the sun and the seasons to adjust the rhythms. One day, though spaced from this ancestral rhythm, perhaps we can return to thinking about the timing of the work in this way, without accalcarci in the queue on the motorways for the fact that every single day we will be able to claim a slice of that “Out of Office” that the epiphany of the modern times still carried in the first decades of the third millennium.

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