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Nowadays, just about all of us are on one social network (or many), and experts are beginning to examine a psychological phenomenon tied to social networking called the “fear of missing out” (FOMO). When you’re checking Facebook 15 times a day for fear that missing the social interactions of others will somehow impact your own quality of life, you are clearly suffering from FOMO. The FOMO phenomenon led me to consider how it impacts those of us who workshift.

Despite the proliferation of remote collaboration tools like GoToMeeting, virtual teams and offices and Wi-Fi, we are somehow still bred to believe that the face-to-face experience is more valuable, powerful and fruitful. As an avid workshifter, I primarily disagree with the previous statement; however, even I have been afflicted with FOMO if I do not frequent the “Corporate Office” enough in the span of a week.

History has proven that my productivity and creativity quadruple when I workshift (read: work from home / make my own hours / limit interruptions / work from spaces other than a traditional office), yet I still dwell in the empty possibility that my physical absence from the office somehow devalues my role.

I’ve been fighting this battle within for some time, increasing my time spent at the Corporate Office and overworking myself to compensate. And guess what? Both my focus and results have dropped. I have since sternly reminded myself that this notion – this FOMO – is indeed a fallacy and that I want my contributions judged on quality and results, not physical proximity.

Are you a workshifter who’s suffering from FOMO?


Photo credit: sblackley

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'.