Not All Gloom
It isn’t all solitude and depression for the Out of Office worker. This would be a very somber and dull book if it was. Throughout the remainder of the book, you will read about many organizations and individuals who make this work style an integral part of the way they work—and do so successfully. The diversity of these organizations, from single-person operations to Fortune 500 companies, is a clear indicator that, when approached properly, the Out of Office work style is a very legitimate way of working.
Like so much else that has been changed by technology, societal shifts, and attitudes to gender roles, work styles are changing, and the pace at which they are changing is accelerating. Although Out of Office working is not yet the norm, I truly believe we will see an increasing number of people and organizations adopting this work style and realizing the benefits of doing so.
The benefits to both individuals and the organizations they work with and for definitely outweigh the costs. As with any new concept, the early adopters bear the brunt of the cost but also reap the rewards and advantages early.
A good example of a large organization that is supportive of the Out of Office work style is Citrix. They have set up a website at www.workshifting.com as a place where both individuals and organizations can share information about this work style. Of course, Citrix also provides technology that enables Out of Office employees to stay connected to the larger organization, but the fact that they have recognized how much their technology enables it and have actively sought to support the community of Out of Office workers speaks volumes about Citrix as an organization.
This chapter isn’t meant to deter you as much as it is meant to assist you with making a decision, having seen some of the realities and challenges that others have faced.
As with many other work styles, working Out of Office can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling, and the flexibility can lead to increases in productivity, loyalty to the organization, and the self-development of the individual working in this way.
Throughout the rest of the book, we are going to look at the other hurdles you will need to overcome to work successfully Out of Office, and I will be sharing more stories from people who have overcome these hurdles successfully.