The world of creative knowledge work is at a vital fork in the road. After a couple of years of trying cobbled-together remote working, some organisations are limping by with virtual sticking plasters on that approach, while other organisations are pushing to roll it back altogether, or to only be available in limited ways as 'hybrid' working.
The days where the choice is between working in an open-plan office, or being given a laptop and a chat app and expected to be effective and happy, need to be behind us. They are all about looking backwards and trying to patch together what we did before into something new.
Free-Range Work offers a different path.
It is what comes next in the evolution of creative knowledge work.
We need to mindfully design our new ways of working. We need to think about more than just the location where work is done. We'll define the new structures, conventions and expectations for the next era of work. We'll develop the skills, mindsets and cultures that it takes to make it happen.
Free-Range is about maximising all the freedoms we need to do our best work, in an effective and satisfying way — while also clearly understanding the balancing responsibilities.
We need to understand the types of work we need to do, and the contexts that work exists in. We need to understand collaboration, communication and culture.
A Free-Range team feels more connected and creative than anywhere they've worked before. It's liberating.
But getting there requires thought and action.
This site & newsletter
FreeRange.Work is the place where I'll share more about how I see this new world of work, and provide the practical tools and methods to help you adopt these ideas into your own work, and your own organisation.
I'm going to publish as much as possible here for free, for anyone to use. But I want you to join me.
To make this happen needs more than me. It's going to take a lot of us spreading the word.
Simply by subscribing to the newsletter, for free, is the first step of getting involved. You'll learn about the ideas and approaches, and can put them into action in your own life and work.
By becoming a professional or company member you will get some extra articles and handbook pages that are more focused on your needs, and more focused on practical implementation — but the main thing is your membership will help me devote the time to spread the word through the free publishing. I'll also provide some support and resources to help you be ambassadors for the Free-Range Work movement.
And if your company is loaded and really wants to get behind the world of Free-Range Work, becoming a Patron will earn you lots of karma and kudos, and help the mission even more :)
The time for Free Range Work is now. We can change the world of creative knowledge work together. Let's do it.
About Steve Parks
Steve started out as a broadcast journalist for BBC Radio 4 and 5-Live, before launching his own production company. As this grew it attracted corporate clients and effectively became a communications agency.
His career then became starting or running creative/digital agencies of one kind of another. One failed, others prospered. The largest grew to 170 people in 9 countries before being sold.
Since 2009 he's designed the agencies to work in a way he called 'Free Range'.
Now he's become a business writer and speaker. Focusing on helping creative agency founders build healthier businesses at convivio.com, and helping creative professionals and organisations adopt Free-Range work here.