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telework.jpgIt’s always cool to get questions from readers.  This one asks about jobs that allow workshifting:

“I would like some information on how to begin searching for occupations which allow workshifting.  Is there a well-maintained website listing potential companies/occupations in which workshifting is allowed/encouraged?”

I wish there was a one-stop shop of companies that offer workshifting.  And, if there is…I’m not aware of it.  My initial thought is each organization has their own unique corporate culture.  And jobs, while they may share the same title or some of the same responsibilities, aren’t identical.  So even within the workshifting environment, not every workshifting situation would be exactly alike.  

One of the first things to consider when it comes to positions that include workshifting, are the actual responsibilities of the job itself.  Ask yourself are the tasks associated with the position ones you can do from anywhere at any time.  

Also consider what you would need in terms of equipment, workspace, etc.  I’ve seen people say, “All I need is a laptop.”  And when they actually started doing the work, the list got much longer.  Understanding what is required to truly get the job done will make any conversation about workshifting go smoother.

After you know the details of the position, there are several places online where you can begin to look for openings.  Although none of these come with guarantees about workshifting, they are a great start:

Use lists to research organizations that might offer workshifting.  Examples are Fortune’s 100 Best Companies, the Great Place to Work Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management’s Best Small and Medium Companies to Work for in America, Working Mother 100 Best Companies and Brazen Careerist’s Top 50 Gen Y Companies.   Most of the companies made their way on these lists because of their progressive thinking and creative human resources policies.

Find Twitter hashtags that can narrow your search.  Career Rocketeer published a post titled “Top 100+ Job Search Hashtags on Twitter“.  Hashtags included on the list are #freelance, #home-employment, and #work-life.  All good places to monitor for potential openings that might be conducive to workshifting.

If you have a specific company, do a direct search of their company profile on LinkedIn to see if they mention anything about encouraging virtual teams, telecommuting, teleworking, etc.
Lastly, keep in mind that a position not workshifting today could be workshifting tomorrow.  Organizations change all the time and if you find a job that you really like, maybe the best approach is to do a great job and figure out a way to sell the company on allowing you to try workshifting.  Write a business case and ask for a trial period to show how it could work. 

If you or your organization are exploring adding workshifting jobs, The Office of Personnel Management and the General Services Administration have established a website, Telework.gov, to provide access to information about telework in the Federal Government.  Even if you weren’t looking for a government job, there are resources available for individuals and employers about teleworking.  I found the self-assessment to be particularly interesting.

The most important factor in finding a workshifting occupation is understanding – yourself, the job, the company, the culture and how it can help the business be successful.

Photo Credit: Daniela Vladimirova