With the limelight shining particularly bright on it during Telework Week 2011, it occurred to me that “workshifting” is not merely a type of work arrangement, but also a state of mind and mode of behavior.
Many a time, a workshifter’s reality is envied and aspired to; rarely are the coping mechanisms and behavioral discipline needed to survive and thrive in this space closely acknowledged or examined. Fortunately, this very forum has explored the impact of isolation, distractions and the need for structural rituals among workshifters.
What most do not realize is that workshifting may not only trigger but also force significant changes in job responsibilities, efficiency and work efforts. At the same time, it is expected that output will not change and, in many cases, should improve! But therein lies the paradox. The perceived “Workshifting Utopia” is characterized by flexible work schedules, more time to balance personal and professional life, and the joys of a home office; yet we must recognize and respect the degree of self-discipline, structure, ingenuity and pure proactivity required to effectively work remotely and independently.
And, as all workshifters unite and aspire to see a greater majority of organizations adopt and promote the workshifting lifestyle, we must warn these organizations to hire carefully for the lifestyle, search for self-adjusting, independent individuals who rate an “A” in self-efficacy. As more and more organizations adopt telework into their culture, they will realize the positive correlation between teleworking employees’ ability to cope within a flexible work context and successful entry into the workshifting space we all know and love!
What do you think makes a successful workshifter?
Photo Credit: Scoobymoo