Be Prepared as Digital Natives Demand the 4 Hour Work Week Lifestyle

by · December 4, 201257 comments

After spending 15 years in Corporate America it didn’t take long for me to realize that my generation,  Generation X, quickly fell into the traditions of our parent’s generation, the Boomers. We all commute to work in our high rise buildings, we peer our heads over our desk in North Cubeland, we work 9-5, take our 2-4 weeks of vacation each year, and spend most of our days in conference rooms having meetings about our meetings. In the last decade we’ve started to see innovations with flexible work schedules, work from home options and creative work spaces. As Gen Xers this was liberating and we began to feel like we had work life balance.

Guess what? I think there is a whole new workforce that is coming to life that a lot of our “corporate” employers simply aren’t prepared for. This isn’t about whether you are a Gen Xer or Millenial. This trend is rising up as a result of advanced technologies that allow us to work from anywhere, shifting business and personal priorities and books like 4-Hour Work Week that tell us we can live differently. Here are some things that I think are going to shape the new Corporate America. And it’s something I’m pretty darned passionate about, so much so SME has taken the leap and jumped in to hopefully prove that the New Corporate America not only exists, but is ready to kick ass and take names from our competition who can’t wrap their heads around this new type of workforce or working environment.

Take a Sledge Hammer to Corporate Walls – Literally

This isn’t so much about the desire to work from “home” as it is to work from ANYWHERE.It’s about the freedom to choose your surroundings so you can be productive and get your job done while creating the personal experience you want. Citrix was early to recognize this movement and created the blog Workshifting to support all of us digital nomads and allow us to chart our journey. Personally, I think this is the most important change that is going to slap Corporate America in the face and turn around and do it again. There is a wave of employees who want to be “free to move about the country” or better yet the world. We want to be able to travel and live in a perpetual workcation.  Seriously, could you imagine taking a job where your boss encouraged you to take a 6 month workcation to Mexico so you could finally immerse yourself in the culture and become fluent in Spanish? That’s a personal dream of mine and one of the primary reasons I’ve refused to set up a corporate office for SME Digital. The temptation of the corporate office and those darn meeting rooms will be too much for people to handle. So I say, forget it. We don’t need a corporate office. We work from wherever we choose to be. We meet virtually if we need to thanks to tools like Skype, GoToMeetingHD Faces, and Google Hang Outs.

Amber Naslund, co-founder and President of SideraWorks and co-author of The Now Revolution said, the reality of work is that face time is now the exception, not the rule and butts in seats has NEVER been a good indicator of, well, anything useful (productivity, morale, etc). You want the best talent in my field (consulting), you find it and design a flexible business to support it. We have to be all over the place for clients anyway, so physical space has literally nothing to do with how well we can perform.”

My Hometown is Irrelevant

The beauty of this type of corporate environment is that it allows companies to truly hire the BEST person for the job, not the best person for the job that lives in the same city as the corporate office.

But the benefit isn’t only on the employee side according to C.C. Chapman, author of the recently published Amazing Things Will Happen, as a business owner I don’t ever want to be restricted from hiring the most talented people because of where they live. Technology enables any of us to workshift anywhere we have an Internet connection and I not only embrace that sort of freedom, but I welcome it. Borders should never get in the way of doing business.” That’s a pretty big deal and could become a huge competitive advantage for companies who are part of the new Corporate America.

However, this also means that we are now competing nationally for talent. That may change the game for a lot of employers who may be the big fish in their local market. It will allow employees to find companies whose values are similar to their own and that have the job they are looking for, rather than having to settle for something that is close to where they call home.

Take Your Schedule and Shove It

Now that we have the freedom to be wherever our little heart’s desire, the next thing to go is the staunchy old corporate schedule. Being forced to work from 9-5? Who wants that when I’m halfway around the world on a totally different time zone and want to have an opportunity to enjoy it. I think we are going to see the resurgence of flexible schedules, but to another extreme. While it won’t work for every position or in every industry, we may start to see more employees demanding to create their own schedules on an ad-hoc basis. So if I’m not a morning person and decide I want to start work at 10 am and end at 6 pm, I will. But tomorrow if I decide to go visit the pyramids in Egypt and want to cut out at 2 pm I may start at 6 am. There are some challenges that will need to be addressed for this to work. I think you’ll see more schedules with “core hours” that require all employees to be available for certain times during the day while leaving the rest of the schedule up to the employee. This will allow teams to schedule meetings and collaborate on projects that require conversations. The old adage of employees being fired for posting a picture of them slacking off during the work day on Facebook will go out the window. You’ll see lots of employees posting pictures of them doing amazing things throughout the day and employers encouraging it.

Happy employees are productive employees, but this can drastically change who is now the “right” employee for an open position. It takes the right kind of employee to thrive in an environment like this. It certainly isn’t right for everyone. There are people who need an office to be productive because they have kids at home during the day, they feel the need to separate home from work or it’s just what they prefer. But I think there is a growing population of people like myself who throw caution to the wind and say I will find a way to make it work because it is the lifestyle I want for my life and for my children’s life. It puts a whole new spin on work-life balance, doesn’t it?

We Don’t Have to Sit Across a Table to Collaborate

Sitting across a corporate conference room table to “collaborate” is so 2000 and late! While in the new Corporate America we don’t have to be across a table there will be a need for new methods of collaboration and at times a physical space may be important. I asked Chris Brogan, author of The Impact Equation, what he thought about this and he said, “workshifting is a huge part of the future of American business culture, that ability to work where you are and how you want, but I can say that there’s still some value to having a central gathering place. Lots of time, working in teams in the same space has advantages. For instance, people might have to work on something complex that requires a lot of inter-exchange. Animating a movie comes to mind. Engineering a computer would be difficult to do sprawled out. But a LOT of roles and functions don’t need proximity for the most part. I can see a huge shift in companies paying an allowance for coworking spaces, for instance.”

I agree that we will find a new way to collaborate in physical proximity too. My vision is to set up “think tanks” for our employees who are more centrally located. They will have bean bag chairs, those fun chairs in the shape of a hand, huge white boards, and fun toys that help the creative process. But they won’t be designed to support daily working intentionally. They will be designed to support the creative process, because that’s when physical proximity becomes more important in our business. I think creative solutions to fulfilling the need for physical space will become more predominant. But I don’t think the typical corporate office will remain the standard answer in the next decade.

That said, there are companies that have made it work without the need for physical “space” like Marketing Profs, a company that has made it work for over 12 years. Ann Handley, Chief Content Office at Marketing Profs and co-author of Content Rules brings up an interesting perspective on productive online meetings, she said “we use a host of internal tools and apply internal “rules” to make collaboration effective and efficient. Dropbox, Skype IM and video calls, basecamp, and a private Facebook team page are among the tools. Rules are like ‘no multitasking during a call’ to make them short and focused. It’s otherwise too tempting to check Instagram and Twitter during a virtual meeting!”

Sounds Great But Oh My…The Challenges

This new corporate America won’t come without challenges and tough ones at that. One of the biggest is, “how do we facilitate the watercooler conversation?” Those conversations are important. They are relationship builders. When we are all heads down on a beach or in our home office how are we going to continue face-to-face relationship building. I definitely don’t think an internal social network is the answer. I think it starts with hiring the right people who understand how to build relationships online, but the challenge is real and one that we’re going to have to figure out.

Jay Baer, President of Convince and Convert and co-author of The Now Revolution, adds “The reason companies have historically had employees co-located and working the same schedule is that it enabled the collective to get more done. This is no longer true.  With Skype, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting et al, the ability to have an actual meeting from afar has never been easier, and with broadband (even on mobile) making video conferencing massively accessible, you don’t even lose much meeting “fidelity” when you’re dispersed. At Convince & Convert, we’re purely virtual, and have senior consultants in almost every time zone. We come together physically a few times per year, and do almost 100% of our work for clients via online collaboration. But beyond technology, the bigger change that enables virtual work is the asynchronous nature of tasks and accomplishments. Parallel to boosts in online meeting software has been the rise of a new thought process around how things in business get done, driven by agile method, 37 Signals, and other champions. Breaking big projects into small pieces, and letting people do their piece and logging their progress using an online project management tool has done more to drive adoption of virtual teams because it makes the meeting itself less necessary, regardless of how and where the meeting occurs, or whether it’s face-to-face. Step one is not needing as many meetings, which is a process shift. Step two is making the few remaining meetings as frictionless as possible, which is a technology shift. Both are rooted in empowerment of employees. It’s true that part of the challenge is process and the other part is culture. Frankly, the culture challenge may be the biggest hurdle to overcome. But as Jay mentioned lessons from agile methodology best known in the software development space present huge opportunities for team collaboration. It’s something we are testing at SME and so far it’s having a profound impact on productivity.

The other challenge is scale. It’s much easier to run virtual teams when you are a small company, but what about large companies with hundreds and thousands of employees? Is it possible to have this type of workforce with that many employees? I believe it is. And I think other companies have already tested the waters with work-from-home options that can be leveraged here. Just look at Accenture, a global consulting firm with over 257,000 consultants that generated over $27.9 billion in revenues through August of this year. Yes, b-ba-ba-billion in revenues. If they can figure out how to manage collaboration with consultants in every part of the world, working at client sites, at home, and using flexible arrangements, I think it proves that collaboration in a work from anywhere model can scale.

What are your thoughts? Do you think this type of workforce can exist? Is your company prepared? What do you think the next phase of Corporate America will look like? Leave a comment and join the debate.

And if this post made you want to work at SME Digital, we’re always looking for our next A player. And we’re currently building our hiring bench for digital strategists, strategic account managers, community managers, and more for positions that are coming soon. Connect with Jay Kelly on LinkedIn and show him why you’re our next best hire!

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About Nichole Kelly

Nichole Kelly

Nichole Kelly is the CEO of Social Media Explorer|SME Digital. She is also the author of How to Measure Social Media. Her team helps companies figure out where social media fits and then helps execute the recommended strategy across the “right” mix of social media channels. Do you want to rock the awesome with your digital marketing strategy? Contact Nichole

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Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://www.flybluekite.com Laura Click

    Totally agree with you, Nichole. I think that virtual businesses will excel because they have happier and more productive employees (that, and there’s far less overhead!).

    You’re right that corporate America seems to be slow to adopt this. The challenge is that it isn’t right for every business or every person. For companies to make the transition, I think you have to make this available for those that want it, but provide a location for those that prefer that. The key is flexibility. 

    I like the idea of core hours. As I’m building my business, that’s something I’ve thought a lot about. Once I have a full-time staff, I do want the ability to contact people (as would clients) during the normal business day. Having core hours is a great solution to be available during certain times, but not constraining folks.

    • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

      Laura – I totally agree. This comes with a variety of challenges, obstacles and downright road blocks. But it’s an important battle and companies will either figure it out or they won’t. I think the ones that figure it out will have a significant competitive hiring advantage. ;-)

  • http://nateriggs.com nateriggs

    Great article, Nicole!  I am one of the audience who does work remotely full time, and I do prefer the arrangement.  It does take discipline and there are trade offs.  You learn how to hop coffee shops on days when the kids are home early and it takes practice to define the lines between when its work time and when you are off hours.

    That said, I fell productivity does go up. Meetings seem to become more succinct when they are done via video conference. Commute becomes isolated to infrequent and long trips rather than the daily wait in traffic. I hope that larger companies eventually figure out how to break out of the culture of the cube city, but in reality, I feel like that change will take decades to become the norm…

    • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

      Thanks for sharing Nate. I absolutely agree. I think it is going to take a LOOOONNNNNGGG time for big companies to come around to this. The big question is whether or not employees like us are willing to wait around for them to get it before we jump ship and go work for a company that does. Too many companies are still in the “we drive our culture” mode without recognizing that their culture could drive them into the ground as culture shifts to models that don’t fit with their “corporate model”. What do you think?

  • http://twitter.com/pmswish Patty Swisher

    Wow. This is a good article. Very forward looking. I truly appreciate articles that make me think, and this is certainly one of them.  As a GenX-er in the workplace I appreciate the pros and cons of the varying sides of the equation. It will be most interesting to see the evolution, and as your examples point out it has already begun.

    • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

      Patty – Thanks! I’m glad it sparked a thought for you. I find the whole conversation really interesting because you could sit on one side and say this will NEVER happen or you could sit on the other side and say WOW I want that to happen, let’s work on it. ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/DanVonderheide danvonderheide

    As a Gen X-er, I inherently think that Millennials are nuts (“what’s with kids these days?”), but they’re absolutely getting this right.

    • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

      You could argue that the millennial generation is giving us permission to go after something we’ve want all along couldn’t you? ;-)

  • http://rhogroupee.com/ Rosemary ONeill

    We use a lot of those same tools to keep our semi-virtual team together.  One way we’ve kept the “watercooler” going is by using HipChat. We have rooms open all day and you can easily pop in to ask a question, make a joke, or update on a project.  Since we used IM to do that even when we were physically in the same office, it’s almost like nothing has changed!

    • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

      Awesome! I’m definitely looking into HipChat for our teams. We’ve been using a lot of Skype chat and I’m not a huge fan of using it for that purpose. Thanks for commenting!

  • http://ariherzog.com/ Ari Herzog

    Do you find this lifestyle to be specific to millennials? Can’t anyone from the generations adapt?

    • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

      Not at all Ari. I don’t think this is necessarily generational. I think it is really a movement that is being fueled by people in all generations who have decided we want to work differently and supported by organizations who have leaders who want the same. What do you think?

      • http://ariherzog.com/ Ari Herzog

        Glad we agree (if I’m reading you correctly) that anyone can work 4 hours a week, not just millennials.

  • http://chelpixie.com/ Chel Wolverton

    I like that you not only looked at the overview of workshifting but what the challenges are for larger companies in terms of culture shifting and acknowledged that it makes competition stiffer for great talent. (Besides including quotes from some very smart minds.)

    I think Corporate America far too often mistakes meetings for productivity, not understanding that they themselves are holding back their own goals by doing so.

    It’s be amazing if it were the norm vs. the unusual.

    • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

      Agreed Chel. I think there are a lot out there that may view this as pie in the sky because their organization can’t handle it. But then stop and think about all the companies that were huge in the 80′s and we never thought would fizzle out, but that is exactly what happened. If that’s possible, then is it possible that this movement could lead to a whole new group of companies that end up on the Fortune 500 list 20 years from now. Just look at the Fortune 100 list from 1980 http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500_archive/full/1980/ and compare it to 2012 http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2012/full_list/ 

      Back in 1980 you never would’ve thought you would have companies like Wal-mart and Apple unseat their competitors. But they did through innovation and ideas that were considered crazy at the time. Is this another form of innovation that could unseat the service industry? It will be interesting to watch and see, won’t it? And I bet you’ll have companies like Virgin Galactic on that list in 20 years. It was really impactful for me when I watched Richard Branson’s conversation at Dreamforce on Galactic. Most thing he’s crazy for trying to build a space program to put consumer’s in space. When he said his real reason for doing it is because he wants to colonize Mars, it made me realize how small so much of our thinking can be. What if we said, yeah we can colonize Mars in our lifetime? Or yes we can put a sledgehammer through corporate walls? What impact could we have on society?

  • Pingback: Media SchemeWould you work a four hour work week?

  • http://www.printbuyersinternational.com/ Margie Dana

    Fascinating position and I agree with you on this – workdays as we know them and offices, per se, will continue to be redefined. Maybe (hopefully) this will lead to more fulfilling career experiences, which helps everyone – the employees and the employers. Question for you: what does this do to the future of professional conferences and other such events? I have a hunch there will be more and more virtual events that will replace costly in-person events. Would love your thoughts on this.

    • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

      Hmmm…That’s an interesting one. Personally, I wonder if it makes the physical conference even bigger. We still want “human” connection and conferences may be the place where we get that need fulfilled. So if you’ve ever attended a “virtual conference” I ask, do you watch all of the sessions? Do you connect with any of the attendees? Do you have a virtual drink together? 

      But, and this is a big but…If you aren’t getting what you want out of a virtual conference is it the “virtual” piece or is it how the “virtual” piece is delivered. Back in 2009 I was looking at some really slick technologies that created true virtual conferences. You had a 3D avatar and you walked from session to session, you could stand in the walkways and talk with people. They enabled audio so you could really talk, not “chat”. This is really interesting to me. Plus it’s kind of fun. It means I could be way skinnier and a lot taller! There’s that…ha! What do you think?

      Look at stuff like this http://www.6connex.com/solutions/type/partners-conference and this http://www.3d-virtualevents.com/virtual-web-conferences/ It’s interesting to think about!

  • Lisa Horner

    Hello Nicole – how are you? We woke up this morning and all read your post – we completely agree and are practicing workshifters. It helps that we make tools like GoToMeeting with HD Faces and Podio that we all have access to ;) We all view work as a thing you do, not a place you go. We have been making this evoution for a few years now and are truly a company of folks that work from anywhere, anytime. Trust is at the core of enabling companies to evolve to a more flexibile culture. But the rewards are big – we’re happier, heathier and most of the time more productive because of it.

    Let’s catch up sometime soon – and thanks for the great post!
    Lisa

    • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

      Lisa – So great to hear from you! It’s been awhile hasn’t it! :-) Honestly, the early conversations we had really framed my perspective on this. I think it’s pretty awesome that you were doing actionable thinking about this heavily in 2009 (and possibly before) when most of us were probably wondering about it in philosophical terms. I’m really impressed by how far you have come and additionally how far it has allowed others to go. Thanks for being such an important part of the journey. See you at sxsw?

      • Lisa Horner

         Yes – see you at sxsw for sure :)

  • http://twitter.com/taracoomans Tara Coomans

    I completely agree with you. But the interesting thing is that this shift started taking place when Blackberries arrived. Suddenly businesses expected professionals to be available via phone or email almost 24/7. The lines between work and personal started blurring even further with social media. We’re finally starting to really see that simply sitting at a desk doesn’t make someone valuable.  I think the next generation will accept being available 24/7 so long as it doesn’t mean being tied to a desk. I do think this evolution will take many years. It might not even completely shift until Millennials are in C-level positions. 

    • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

      Tara – I think you are right. It’s interesting to put it into the perspective of a trade off between availability and flexibility. I remember the first days of the blackberry where we were all told that we are salaried employees and therefore the number of hours we worked were irrelevant. It was at a difficult time financially for a lot of companies and they were piling the work on instead of hiring when they probably should have. The real productivity comes with job satisfaction in an environment where we aren’t told we owe something to the company, but rather we perform because we truly believe in the company and love what we do. That’s where the magic happens. What do you think?

  • http://www.foxriverassociates.com/ Nancy – Release Liners

    After decades of the latter, we are finally seeing the light where people can work hard and make money and not at 50+ hours a week in an office. Working is important but the mill work week of 9-5 just doesn’t work anymore. Go where your clients are and be available when you are really needed. If you can be flexible enough for that, the business will bend to you.

    • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

      Agreed! Thanks for joining the conversation Nancy.

  • tylerclark

    I work for a very large corporation that is very old fashion in this regard. I would personally love to shift my time and location, and I know that I could thrive in it.

    However, just because someone WANTS independence doesn’t mean that they can HANDLE independence.

    The reality is that independent work requires a very high level of maturity, self-control and drive. Most people simply don’t have what it takes to work this way. If my coworkers could work when and where they want, the top options would be “Never” and “Nowhere”.

    For high performing companies, the answer to that is simple: Fire ‘em. However, for many large businesses, a large percentage of their staff couldn’t cut it. We simply can’t afford to fire large chunks of our staff, especially not knowing that they’ll be replaced by other low-paid, unskilled workers would also won’t be able to handle the freedom.

    This kind of location-independent, unscheduled environment is wonderful—for companies where all of the employees are above average. For the rest, however, it will be very difficult.

    • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

      Tyler- You are absolutely right. This kind of environment won’t work for everyone or every company. And there are a whole contingent of employees that wouldn’t even want the option. But for those who do, specifically those top performers you mentioned, not allowing it because your B players can’t handle it? That’s a great recipe for losing your best employees. So I think companies are going to have to find a way to support their A players without impacting their B players productivity. What do you think?

  • http://www.theskooloflife.com Srinivas Rao

    Nichole

    I saw this last night and my immediate thought was “AMEN”.  As somebody who never thrived in my career until I no longer had to be in an office I can really appreciate this. In fact I’m in the process of working on a second manifesto titled the Work Revolution Manifesto: Deconstructing the Structure of Work. 

    I’ve never read a single book that said “make people come to an office and sit a desk for 8 hours and they will have the most brilliant insights ever.”  Now obviously making a shift to this nomadic work force is going to have some challenges. But part of that is adapting to the technology that makes it possible. I think the ultimate irony is when a company is making tools that enable people to work remotely, but don’t allow their employees to (my guess is there are some out there). 

    Last year my hours at my day job were cut to 10 hours a week, making it unaffordable to say put. So in a moment of either brilliance or temporary insanity I asked my boss “how would you feel about me relocating.” When asked where, I replied “Costa Rica.” I’m an avid surfer so I wanted to be where the waves were perfect. He said yes. I would be lying to you if I said it didn’t have it’s challenges. I think companies are still learning how to work with remote employees. 

    I think what it comes down to is happy people do better work. If we give people freedom I think they’ll surprise us an innovate in ways we haven’t thought about. 

    • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

      Wow! What a great story! I want to go to Costa Rica! And I want to learn to surf…hmmm…I might have to add a trip to my list. 

      You’re right, it is possible. If you want the employee enough you make it work. The big challenges come with scale, but personally I think they are all possible to overcome if you have the right kind of leaders at the helm that don’t allow piddly excuses to get in the way.

      Thanks so much for commenting!

  • rachelakay

    Great post and I’m blown away by the insightful comments. I would not consider this structure for my business but good points are made all around.

    I think one question that comes to mind is that a lot of this model seems to be based on the hiring of part time consultants, which means employers are not responsible for providing benefits or stability. I think it’s important to consider what the motivation is for some of these arrangements.  I’d be curious how many companies are providing benefits to remote workers.

    • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

      Rachel – Thanks for commenting. I don’t think the model is based on hiring part-time consultants at all. I think that’s where the model has flourished because with part-time consultants there isn’t an expectation that you “control” their time. They are there to get a project done and they get it done. End of story. For some reason when someone is an employee and gets benefits employers suddenly think they have bought the ability to control their every move, or some would interpret it that way at least. I think we can separate the employment status from the requirement that you come to the office every day. And yes, SME provides benefits the same benefits to remote workers as we would any full-time employee that would traditionally come to an office. ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/NoahLampert NoahLampert

    Amen.

    Thanks for this Nichole.

    Google+ is making this a reality for me already. Awesome, just awesome.

  • Daniel bird

    Awesome list Ileane!

     

  • http://www.boom-online.co.uk/ Amy Fowler

    This sounds great in theory, but you talk about this enhancing the work/life balance, and I’m not convinced it does.

    Although I’m not a *huge* fan of set hours, on set days, while having to commute five days a week to my office, I do appreciate the clear segregation this gives me between work life and home life.

    For example, if I’m able to work from anywhere, when does the work really stop? At the moment, I get home in the evenings, put work out my mind, and relax until the next day. I can’t seeing this being so simple and clearcut if I chose where and when I work. 

    The same as this permanent workcation – if I’m working while on holiday, when will I ever get a *real* holiday? As in, one or two weeks to completely relax and *not* think about work.

    If I’m always on a staycation, I can’t see this really happening. Even if I was supposed to be having a ‘proper’ holiday. I’d probably still have everything I need with me to work, and my colleagues would probably still think it appropriate to call me if they need me.

    • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

      Amy – I can personally tell you that it does cause a challenge. I have a certain part of my house designated as the office. I only go there when I’m working and I have started setting limits on when I’m working to strike the balance. It requires discipline. And I’m not always perfect because at times there is a lot going on and I have to meet a deadline. But for the most part I recognize that if it weren’t for the luxury of working from whereever I would never get to enjoy my life. Because I’d be stuck in a car commuting from some where to some where and I’d still be working the same hours. So I’m getting two hours of my life every day that I’d otherwise spend in a car. That’s a bonus. Plus as you know, you had a lot to say on this so I’m excited to post your response this week! Stay tuned!

  • http://www.wahmbahm.com Ivette Muller

    Hallelujah!  I think this workforce can definitely exist and I think it’s about time that corporations embrace the possibilities.  I see so many companies that are stifled by hiring the best employee for the job in that city because they can’t (or won’t) think outside the box.  Coming from a corporate job more than 4 years ago, I think part of this is the fear of the unknown and if “I can’t see the employee working, how can I be sure the job is getting done” mentality.  This has to stop. 

    I am so fortunate that I have been able to embrace the digital age and leverage technology to work from home and started my own business.  I’ll be honest, the beginning was rough and it’s still a challenge to have a predictable and consistent income when working on my own.  I have so many skills that would benefit a company, but I don’t want to be limited by their box and have to punch in and out every day.  Plus, I can’t think of one company that would allow me to stay home and snuggle with my daughters when they are sick.  

    One of the things I have found invaluable is finding like-minded individuals to share and brainstorm with.  Sometimes when you work at home (or at Starbucks, the beach, the mountains) is the feeling of isolation.  Some people need that water cooler experience and social interaction to help their productivity.  One of the best networking and “advice” social networks I have found is http://www.ClickMillionaires.com.  Not only does this social network provide support and feedback for my ideas, but it also has introduced me to some really great people who I can call friends.  
    I can’t wait until this idea is mainstream and people start realizing that the best person for the job is not only about their skills, but their self fulfillment in the way that they are able to work and excel. 

    Awesome post :D

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  • Rodrigo Amigorena

    If we start having these global employees, how do you think their salaries will be determined based on the office location or on his remote location?

    • http://tdhurst.com/ tdhurst

      Why not the value of the work they do?

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  • john smith

    More and a lot of ways that to induce “punished”,
    not smart for competition.

     

  • http://buzzshift.com/ Meagan Dahl

    Nichole,

    Thank you so much for your insights! As a quasi-melinnial-something I have to agree that the way we work and innovate together needs to shift. I think a key component here is for companies to rethink not only set times but also set places for employees to work in. A cubicle is stifling, a loft space too noisy, a cool downtown office too out-of-the-way. Why not set up facilities around a city for employees to utilize and allow more opportunities to use social media tools as coworking tools? Technology allows endless possibilities for connection, so why not use those connections in the workplace?

  • Moro149

    Of course none of this works for professionals who work outside of the corporate world – where we are needed to provide services to the community. What happens to the 4 hour work week and work globally then?

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