Now is probably not the time to saunter into your boss’s office and demand a flexible work arrangement involving telecommuting or job-sharing or scaling back to part-time. Or is it?
I’ve been getting and making a lot of calls from colleagues since my company announced layoffs this month. One thing I learned from an off-the-record source is that some of our magazine titles want people to go part-time. But they aren’t explicitly offering part-time jobs, mainly because they hope workers who might want a part-time option will volunteer to leave altogether.
So that got me to think that maybe now is the time to try to gin up some sort of nontraditional work arrangement. It’s contrarian, I know. But maybe a massive economic upheaval is indeed the time for a workplace revolution, the kind described in Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson’s book, “Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It.” They’re proponents of the results-only work environment, or ROWE, which makes a really persuasive business case: hold your workers responsible for their projects, not for punching a clock, and they’ll become innovative, creative, independent team members—the kind we need to power our newly lean, mean economy.
Like I said, not everyone agrees. Take this guy, a lawyer named Jim Middlemiss, who writes in Canada’s National Post:
Those lawyers crying out for work-life balance are about to get a taste of what it feels like. However, it might come with a pink slip. Law firms will start sharpening their knives and weeding out the under-performers and those who aren’t putting in their time.
Ah. Putting in their time—at the office, of course. That’s how Middlemiss defines good lawyers. As for a younger generation seeking a smarter approach to work, he has a solution: Want work-life balance, you lazy @$#%^? You’ll find plenty of me-time on the unemployment line.
What do you think—good time to go nontrad? Or idiotic to stick out your neck?