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Recently, Fortune Magazine published their annual list of the 100 Best Companies to Work for. It’s always a popular read to check out the companies listed. If you haven’t seen this year’s list, you can check it out here.

What I always find more interesting that just the list of company names and their rankings, is what these companies offer their employees. To me, this is what the list is really about. It identifies best practices.


This year’s list had some interesting data:

  • The top 10 best companies encouraged employees to balance their work and personal life
  • 82 of the 100 companies listed offered telecommuting

So, the key concept behind workshifting – being able to work productively from anywhere – are embraced by the companies considered to be the crème de la crème in Corporate America. This comes right after the Federal Government implemented the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, mandating Federal Agencies to implement telework policies.

It’s clear organizations both public and private are recognizing the benefits of workshifting. This is terrific. But we all read this blog and know that, right? The next logical step in this new normal is education.

For years, employees have been accustomed to getting up every day and driving to this place called “work.” They put in their time and go home. If they bring work with them, they make do with their resources at home. Today, work might be 10 steps away. It’s a major change.

I remember when I first started consulting. I spoke to every consultant who would let me buy them a cup of coffee. And asked them their biggest challenges.

One person told me it would take two years to get used to working at home. Two years?! Somehow that seemed ridiculous. But let me tell you…for me, it took every bit that long. Working from home is not a cakewalk. You have to be disciplined and manage yourself.

In my case, it was a bit different. I was too disciplined. I was so afraid of getting distracted by television or the household chores that I made myself miserable. I finally lightened up and achieved some balance.

In order for workshifting to be successful, it takes a lot of information. Companies can’t simply declare telework is OK and hope everything works out. Guidelines for success need to be created. Both employees and employers need resources.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Families and Work Institute (FWI) just announced a multi-year partnership called Moving Work Forward. Their goal is to be that resource that can help organizations adopt workplace flexibility policies in an effort to be more competitive.

Check out this video from FWI and SHRM that explains the Moving Work Forward initiative:

This is just one of the many resources available to help organizations. What other workshifting resources are you aware of that can help organizations successfully implement these programs? Leave us a note in the comments.

Photo Credit: justin_levy

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  • http://twitter.com/ambrishrk Ambrish Kochikar

    This was such a great read! Thanks!

  • Lindsay

    Great info, Sharlyn. Can’t help but wonder if the same thing that keeps some companies afraid of telecommuting is also why they are NOT great companies in so many other ways…

    • http://www.hrbartender.com Sharlyn Lauby

      Good question. Hopefully the data will help companies overcome their fears…

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