I spent four years working in a front office. Eight years in a back office. It gave me a great perspective on the two sides of the corporate coin.
The front office makes things happen. It makes the money. It delivers the work. The front office is the interface with the world.
The back office keeps the machine of the business operating. It puts wages in bank accounts. It provides and manages the technology that drives the business. The back office opens the doors first thing and closes the doors when all are gone home.
When an organisation is working well there is a healthy division of focus and attention across both. And a sense of harmony between the two. However, it’s not always the reality in the corporate world. Sometimes the front office wants to move at a pace. And it feels frustrated that the back office cannot keep up. Sometimes the back-office feels neglected, like it’s an after-thought of the business.
The best approach for a business is to have balanced investment of thought, energy and resources in both front and back office.
As individuals, we are own front and back office. Our front office is our own interface with the world. It’s our ability to communicate, to get work done, to manage people, deadlines and situations. It’s what enables us to be good in our role every day.
Our back office is our physical and mental wellbeing and our stores of energy. It’s the fuel, balance and resolve that is the backbone of our performance each day.
To be good at what you do you have to invest in your own front office. The processing of educating, evolving and improving yourself should be perpetual.
Equally, it’s so critical to continuously give time and attention to physical and mental wellbeing. There are positive signs that people have increased awareness of the need to stay balanced. Yoga and meditation are rightly becoming ever more popular in today’s world. There are thankfully many sources of information to give guidance on staying well. But simply honouring good sleep and hydration can go a long way to keeping your back office functioning well.
In business and as individuals, we need our front and back office to be working well. We must invest time and energy equally in our own front and back office to make sure that we get the best out of ourselves.
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