Mobile connotes the idea that work is no longer a place, but a set of tasks that can be performed anywhere – whether that’s in a government-owned building in a major metropolitan center or a privately-owned family farm in the middle of Minnesota. In the private sector, this type of flexible work environment is already commonplace. Not so in the public sector where fewer than 10% of eligible employees are teleworking. I believe that three primary drivers will lead to a more mobile government:
1) Collaborative technologies – also known as Web 2.0 or social media – will enable people to exchange information in ways that mitigate time and distance. Public sector personnel will wake up one morning, and about 75 minutes into their 5-mile commute, will recognize that there is a much better way to work. They’ll turn around, turn on their laptop and turn in a respectable day’s work…in less than 8 hours!
2) Boomers will retire, leaving Generation X and Millennials to take the reins. And what does the next generation want but a better work-life balance? Unlike our parents, we don’t live to work. We work to live. We’re projectized people that desperately want to live the critical path – the quickest route from start to finish…so we can give more attention to our personal pursuits.
3) Boomers will retire, becoming bored and realizing that they want to keep contributing. For all that’s been said about it, the impending “retirement tsunami” may or may not happen by 2015. With their workaholic approach and life savings shaved in half, Boomers are most likely not leaving anytime soon. Think about it: the youngest among them are still in their mid-40s and many of them are on Facebook, GovLoop, and Twitter. And surveys by relatively respectable institutions like AARP, Harvard, Merrill Lynch and MetLife indicate that two out of three Boomers expect to NEVER retire. Rather, they plan to cycle between periods of working, volunteering and vacationing.
To summarize: we all want the same thing! But it’s up to you, brilliant and bold Boomers, to put this mobile culture in place now before you head off to work from your waterfront villa in the south of Florida or France.
What do you think? Do you buy it? Or will we stayed mired in the muck of mindless commutes?