Poll: Where Do You Work From?

I had a fascinating conversation with a colleague the other week who remarked at how much more work she’s able to do in a week since she left her full time marketing job for a career as a freelance marketing consultant. Having always been self employed, it was more of a preaching to the choir conversation but it got me thinking again about the discussions I’ve had over the years with executives, managers, and staffers about flextime…

What I have to offer is a great deal of anecdotal and observational data but by and large flextime, in this case allowing employees to spend a portion of their week working outside the office, has yet to catch on inside the field.

Most middle managers and staffers I talk to roll their eyes and groan about how their supervisors won’t even consider the idea while managers and department heads aren’t comfortable with the idea of letting employees work away from the office. Generally, I’ve heard a wide swath of reasons over the years against flextime and there’s no denying the hard realities such as smaller offices have more trouble implementing flextime than their larger budget peers.

So, let’s indulge in a little soft poll research to see how common flextime is in the field.

[sws_2_column title=”Flextime yes or Flextime no”][sws_red_box box_size=”300″][poll id=”25″] [/sws_red_box] [/sws_2_column]

[sws_2_columns_last title=”Asking your boss”] [sws_grey_box box_size=”300″] [poll id=”26″] [/sws_grey_box] [/sws_2_columns_last]

Do take a moment to weigh in with a comment on this topic, especially if you’re an executive. I’d love to hear about why you do or do not offer flextime in your office. Likewise, it would be terrific to have some firsthand accounts about how flextime had a positive or negative impact on productivity, efficiency, and/or employee satisfaction.

If you’re interested in flextime, there’s an intriguing article about the challenges and potential of flextime by Scott Westcott in the Aug, 2008 edition of Inc. Magazine that’s worth your while.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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0 thoughts on “Poll: Where Do You Work From?

  1. I don’t believe that flexitime should be optional, I believe it should be compulsory!

    Any employer with more than 10 employees (production lines and the like obviously excepted) should be fined if they do not stagger the start times of their employees from 6 to 10 am.

    We all know some people just ‘don’t do mornings’, while others, myself included, think the day has almost gone by 10 am.

    Imagine the impact on traffic if everyones start (and therefore finish) times were staggered over a four hour period.

    Increased productivity – less people therefore less noise in the office so I can concentrate on what I’m doing
    Happier employees – I finish work at 2 pm instead of 6.
    Increased productivity – Ms sleepy head who hates mornings gets to wake up before work, not in work
    Improved trading across borders – In the UK there are some A***holes who want to change the time zone so it aligns with European countries (Germany, Spain, France, Holland, Portugal) If we ALL worked flexitime then as a company we’d be available to do business with Europe until their normal closing time of 5pm. All we need then is stop the French taking the whole of July off for a national holiday …..
    Increased productivity – I get to work when I’m most effective, first thing in the morning, I don’t arrive at work frustrated because of the traffic, I get two hours a day of my life back instead of spending it stuck it traffic …….. I once worked for a company which was based about 10 miles from my home, if I left work at 4:55 I could get home in about 30 minutes (I could do the same journey on a Weekend in 20 minutes) if I left work at 5:00 it would take between 45 minutes and 1 1/2 hours.
    A different company I worked for (which didn’t have a flexitime policy) If I set off for work at 7:00 I would arrive at work around 7:30. If I set off after7:30 (like I did on my first day!!!) I wouldn’t arrive at work until between 9:30 and 10:00, on my first day I left at 7:30 and by 9:00 I hadn’t even got ONTO the motorway.Whether the company liked it or not I started work at 7:30 every day from then on.

    Now I’m a freelance ENGINEER, I work when I want and won’t be dictated to by thoughtless morons (mostly accountants) running big corporations.

  2. Dan Pink talks about this issue at some length in his TED talk about motivation. Well worth a watch, especially as he specifically talks about the move towards a very flexible work schedule as it relates to the idea of autonomy and self motivation.

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