The Challenges With Creating Autonomy at Work

When we look at autonomy in the workplace, most people think about it in terms of 2 things:

  1. Letting people work from home for better work/life balance.
  2. Weakening accountability and oversight.

The problem with this common and current thinking in that they do not work with most jobs due to operational requirements, and the nature of the work itself.  Even in workplaces where they could work, they are often not properly executed.

Managers need to build trust in their employees in order for any type of autonomy to be sustainable. They need to be able to have the confidence that when they are not in the room to monitor them, the employee is willing and able to complete the duties of their job. As much as managers do not want to look over the shoulders of their staff, the staff REALLY do not want their manager to do it.

The common way many people think about autonomy is through reducing oversight or letting people work from home. While these are common examples of what autonomy can provide, not every workplace can accommodate these types of independence.  Even for those who can, unless they can trust their people any freedom they provide will be unsustainable.

To learn more about the challenge with creating autonomy at work, please enjoy this 4 minute video.

Share what inspires you