Humans Are Not Robots: Why We All Need Work Flexibility and What Company Leaders Can Do about It

Humans Are Not Robots: Why We All Need Work Flexibility and What Company Leaders Can Do about It

by Robert Hawkins


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In this entertaining, thought-provoking, and comprehensive guidebook on work flexibility, Robert Hawkins builds on new and old management theories, case studies, interviews, and his own personal journey from rigidity to flexibility to show leaders how to free hundreds, thousands, millions of people from a way of working that doesn’t meet expectations for modern life. Humans Are Not Robots provides theory and evidence to show the urgent need for flexibility for all and then offers practical guidance on rolling out sustainable and successful (and profitable) flexibility campaigns.

Hawkins explores various types of flexibility, including remote work, flexitime, compressed workweeks, and job sharing, as well as those not commonly discussed (reduced hours with full pay, return-to-work internships, flexibility in manufacturing, healthcare, construction). He delves into the science of human needs theory to demonstrate how the traditional nine-to-five workplace creates unsustainable lives and shows that, with even small changes, leaders in any industry can use flexibility to:

  • Make work a vital and fun part of life again
  • Boost productivity, engagement, and innovation
  • Reduce gender inequality and domestic violence
  • Delay retirement of workers and mitigate the issues of an ageing population
  • Fight obesity and reduce the burden of poor health on individuals and health systems
  • Ensure that people maintain needed skills and relevance in the face of increased automation and uncertainty
  • Impact climate change

  • and do all of this while increasing profits.

Part philosophical and scientific journey, part how-to guide, Humans are Not Robots provides readers a deep-dive into the world of work flexibility to learn how to fully unlock its power. Essential reading for leaders of any organization, the book presents a stark and beautiful vision of what people’s lives could be, and the idea that this can be achieved right now.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781947540156
Publisher: Maven House Press
Publication date: 11/10/2020
Pages: 318
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Having spent several years in rigid workplaces – with the accompanying long commutes – as an engineer, manager, and process improvement specialist, Robert Hawkins is now a flexibility consultant and advisor, recently working with the Australian Department of Defence and Optometry Australia. He walks his dog in the mornings instead of sitting in traffic and works to help as many people as possible regain life by working flexibly.

Robert has written on flexibility for FlexJobs,, and 1 Million for Work Flexibility and is an ambassador and lead contributor for Flexible Working Day. He chaired and spoke at The Flexible and Agile Work Summit in Sydney in 2019. He holds a B.Eng., Chemical Engineering, from the University of Adelaide.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Flexibility 101

Part One: For Humans and the World
Chapter 3. Being Human
Chapter 4. Busting Traffic and Other Worldwide Problems

Part Two: Definitely Not Robots
Chapter 5. Energy Buckets and Why the Compressed Workweek is Dumb
Chapter 6. Flexible Humans Are Productivity Monsters
Chapter 7. The Space to Choose

Part Three: How to Flex
Chapter 8. How Not to Flex
Chapter 9. The 3Ts of Flexibility: The Talk, Technology, and Trial
Chapter10. The Forgotten

Part Four: Work Revolution
Chapter 11. Work Reimagined
Chapter 12. The Future

A. Frequently Raised Concerns
B. Disclaimer (For the Robots)
C. Disclaimer (For the Humans)

About the Author

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