USA Today recently reported on its top 2012 business trends. To my great surprise and overwhelming joy, the “death of the 9 to 5″ was a prominent item on the list. Cited for obvious reasons – the proliferation of mobile devices, laptops and wireless connectivity – which a mainstream audience could comprehend, the report failed to underscore the true value of what it means to lay the traditional 9 to 5 to rest and what challenges may lay in its path.
Greater productivity, creativity and physical and mental well-being come to mind immediately; anyone who currently workshifts can certainly attest to one or all of these benefits. But I cannot help focusing on how the mainstream needs to change to make workshifting more commonplace.
For the most part, organizations are wary of workshifters. They save this “special arrangement” for unique situations, which, in my mind, only serves to exacerbate the bias. Instead, organizations who dare to allow some (if not all employees) to workshift should examine the methods, processes and upsides of the workshifting minority and slowly begin to infiltrate the practice and the technology into the greater employee population.
I recently worked on a proposal with a senior level manager at Citrix. We were able to arrange an off-site meeting on a day when he was – you guessed it – workshifting. By way of conversation, he shared with me that the practice of workshifting is not only encouraged but also enforced by the organization, ensuring that employees “walk the walk” and utilize the technology upon which the company’s mission is built. Now, that makes sense since Citrix strongly supports “powering the virtual workforce” – their technology is available for all to adopt, collaborate and then transform their organizations with!
According to Citrix CEO, Mark Templeton, “Three simple words are changing the world: whatever, whenever, wherever.” Amen to that and to the death of the 9 to 5.
Photo Credit: kitch