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Making the proverbial shift into workshifting is tough – for employers and workshifters, alike. Though gaining greater credibility, the workshifting lifestyle is still nebulous at best and completely scary at worst to most organizations considering permitting an employee to workshift or hiring a workshifter outright.

This perceived dilemma can make some workshifters second guess their daily decisions, promises and commitments in order to say what we believe the hiring parties want to hear.

So, I have come up with the 5 things most workshifters won’t say, but should:

  1. “My greatest quality work is produced when I have the most flexibility in time, location and method.”

  2. “I would love to help you/your organization with this project/issue, but it’s not within my core competency and it would be better for you to ask someone else with that strength.”
  3. “I would need to assess the current status of your organization and measure the gap between where it is currently at versus what you want this project/assignment to achieve, before I commit or spec out my statement of work.”
  4. “As a rule, I need a full 24 (48) hours’ notice in order to attend a meeting on-site, except in the case of an emergency or project showstopper.”
  5. “I lobbied for a workshifting lifestyle so I could perform at my best and serve you at the highest level of my capability; therefore, being asked to commit to more than my realistic capacity or having to forego my flexibility defeats both of our ultimate and intended goals for success.”

Some of these statements may appear harsh or “un-A-player-like” at first, but rest assured – they are often the mantras which need to be heard first and most. Your opportunity to workshift has been hard won and much deserved; so wouldn’t you prefer to set yourself up for success with expectations based on realistic and supportive parameters or speak only empty promises and have your work and workshifting lifestyle suffer?

Photo Credit: HowardLake

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Natalya Sabga is a project management professional and operational efficiency expert turned author, consultant and executive education advisor. Fascinated by the study of human behavior, she has parlayed this into a successful writing career. Ms. Sabga is also the author of "From Secretary to CEO: A Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder Without Losing Your Identity" (2010). She is also the President of DNterprises, LLC - a firm specializing in project needs' analysis, and project management from implementation to operation. Ms. Sabga is currently working on her next non-fiction narrative, "A PMP's Guide to Project Managing Your Life," and authoring the blog 'ASK N'.
  • http://www.steigmancommunications.com Daria Steigman

    Hi Natalya,

    Actually, I have said all of these at one time or another. #2 is a big one for me. I’d far rather refer work to a colleague than take on something that’s my forte. Numbers 1 and 5 are also key. I’ve turned down work when a prospect wants an onsite person because it doesn’t fit either my business model or the way I work most productively.

    • Natalya I. Sabga


      Thank you for the positive affirmation! At times, the need to please and assist mask the [greater] need to produce and produce well – so I continue to remind myself of these tenets. Great to know I am not alone,  and that others like yourself have the same standards.