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The Human Element of Workshifting

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The tools that enable us to workshift are important, but it’s the human aspects of workshifting that make it successful.

I recently switched from a company where workshifting is in their DNA, to a new company, where the value of workshifting is still being defined. I find myself having the same conversations we all had a few years ago. I’m talking about a Results-Only Work Environment; I’m touching on productivity improvements, employee moral and satisfaction, and so on.

Invariably, the “tools” conversation is pushed front and center. I reframe the conversation and tell people not to get romanced by the tools, and instead, focus on the desired behavior and outcome. Which, in my opinion, a successful outcome is one in which the employee, team member, staff, spouse, rodeo clown or whatever you want to call them, are blissfully happy and productive.

Anyone that has the freedom to work from anywhere understands exactly what I’m talking about. A typical day of workshifting is dramatically different than a day in the office. For example, as I’m writing this post I’m wearing my gym clothes, boiling some eggs, monitoring my community on Twitter and all while listening to the sounds of spring outside my window.

I know it sounds idyllic, and it is. Now, my typical day in the office is great, but different. I need to physically see and be around the people I work with. It’s very important to maintain a personal connection that simply can’t be derived via digital tools. It’s the in-person relationship building that makes me appreciate workshifting that much more.

So next time you’re staring down the “tools” conversation, bring it back full circle and focus on the behavior and desired outcome, the rest will work itself out.

Photo Credit: InfusionSoft

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  • http://www.workfromhomewisdom.com Judy Heminsley

    Oh, how I hope we can soon concentrate on this and get away from the tired old pyjamas all day cliche!

    • https://twitter.com/DavidBaeza David Baeza

      I couldn’t agree more. Being so close to the topic I sometimes take for granted that it’s still not mainstream.

  • http://twitter.com/DiannaKersey Dianna Kersey

    I have found over the many years I have workshifted, that the video tools are most helpful with this particular aspect. You can have a round robin with one tor more associates, depending on the video conferencing tool you are using and it works! It satisfies and gives me the connection I need.

    My Chicago office will video conf with me and I can see everyone in the group office they all wave and greet me and sometimes we even all have a Friday beer after work as well via skype. The point is to use these tools to keep you connected and you will be :)

  • http://klemmer.com/ Kelly Marsh

    It would be ideal for me to be able to do an office day once or twice a week. Time to get the office to re-locate