Work: A Place — Or the Things We Do?

Imagine this: A workforce with no set schedule, no mandatory attendance, and no centralized location to get the job done.

Confused? Don’t be. A new modern day philosophy is emerging in our workforce that slashes conventional workplace practices. The philosophy is known as ROWE – Results-Only Work Environment. Judging employees based on productivity instead of time spent. In other words, work no longer refers to where you go – but more importantly, what you do and how you do it.

So if work didn’t require a safety net of face-to-face conferences, 9-5 agendas, and 25 minute commutes where would you be? A nature hike? Yoga class? Perhaps morphing into your dream alter-ego — the King of Carpool? Well, it’s possible – if you embrace our workforce’s newest trend – harnessing brain power and performance regardless of time and space.

This concept isn’t too far from telecommuting, another major trend in today’s workforce. More and more employees are seeking flexible work schedules with the opportunity to telecommute. According to the Telework Research Network, 40% of U.S. employees hold jobs that that could be done at home, 61% of federal employees are considered eligible for telework (5.2% do so on a regular basis), and most importantly, 72% of employees say flexible work arrangements would cause them to choose one job over another while 37% specifically cite telecommuting.

For all you traditionalists, keep your pants on. Behold; there’s even proof. Heidi Golledge, chief executive at CareerBliss, an advisory career community quoted in Forbes, CNN Money, and CNBC states that work-life balance is the key to determining employee happiness. In fact, flexible work schedules and maintaining a healthy work-life balance is a top priority – reigning even over salary. And we all know, happy employees are productive employees – time and time again.

Even the concept of training falls perfectly under this new and exciting approach. Why stress over the technicalities of physical presence, space limitations and time restrictions when trainers should be focusing on more important things like receptiveness, effectiveness, and usability. How does one measure the success of training anyway? In the end result of course – the output and the response, not necessarily in the time spent or the space in which the training was delivered.

Time and commitment are both certainly important. But in 2012, with technical mobility and communication tools at our finger-tips, working and training should no longer be defined by a square foot radius. Take it on the road or take it at home – just get it done and have something to show for it. Whatever you’ll do in your extra time is up to you, just be prepared to prove your performance and demonstrate your productivity. And if you could still be King of Carpool – congratulations, you’ve just won the best of both worlds.

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