Experts vary on the number of cognitive biases we may hold. The scariest list comes from Wikipedia, with over one hundred - 188 to be exact. Less than 20 permeate the workplace. People's beliefs create a corporate culture. And I wonder to what extent they might be at the root of the resistance to change that is slowing down the Future of work set up - the flexible workspace - that a large majority of people want. Let’s dig in.
As for the brilliant categorization of Buster Benson, the author and creator of the famous Wikipedia page on cognitive biases, we can organize them into four categories;
1- What should we remember?
2- We need to act fast
3- Too much information
4- Not enough meanings
But we can better understand them with the causes of anxiety behind them:
Information in your head: there’s too much information in the universe to process, so we filter most of it out
Beliefs in your heart: everything is confusing until we make sense of it by telling a story. This is where we get our meaning from.
Plans in your hands: time is short, and we need to get things done, so we jump to conclusions and act with what we have.
So, after considering all the beliefs we have blocking out the positive perception of a flexible workspace, I concluded that there are many that we could identify: Status quo, Anchoring bias, Confirmation bias, Zero-risk bias, Self-serving bias, for the most obvious ones.
And all of them can have different legitimate causes:
1- It might be a question of a negative experience
2 - We might want to wait for the ROI of the early adopters
3 - The context is overwhelming, and there is so much about safety first going on
To address the risk of my falling into the last category of “not enough meanings,” I would take the chance to approach the future of work with a useful purpose. And it’s called optimism.
If we do not reframe workplace flexibility as an opportunity to expand the global talent pool and make the workplace more accessible to the next generation, we’ll lose an unbelievable benefit.
We could combine a better work-life balance with a high level of collective productivity. And I hope my children will benefit from it.