Are you looking for a better work environment in life? Our work schedule is an outgrowth of the factory shifts. We punch in at a certain time, we have our breaks and we punch out. Unions gave us weekends. So we work 5 day and get a couple days off. Is this your perfect style of work? Are there alternatives?
A mentor of mine, Jeffrey Sooey (http://coachestrainingblog.com), works three weeks a month. How is this possible, right? Well, he is a very successful life coach and it makes sense that he can look at different approaches to time management and his schedule. He encourages people like me to book all one on one coaching clients in just a few days a week. My first thought was, “I need to be client focused.” Then I actually tried it. The results were unexpected and great.
Work Less to Increase Successful
I had time each week to really focus on where my business was going. I had uninterrupted days to bring ideas to life. I could totally slack off on the email focused world I am used to for a few days at a time. My productivity level sored. You are reading this post, (drafted on my Monday’s where I do not do coaching class except for new clients) because of this new perspective.
My clients appreciated the structure (or say at least were unfazed by moving from a Thursday, for example, to a Wednesday). They appreciate the flexibility I have on days when they need to move to one of my non-coaching days. I am always free to do a makeup session when I need to.
After this experience I can imagine my mentor taking a week off every month. Or at least a week to focus on what he wants to accomplish. I could see how smart it is to have a week free, which would be an asset to finish a book/video project or maybe creating a new marketing tool for coaching.
I am eager to explore this more with clients in traditional 9 to 5 American work week jobs. I recently discussed this idea with a client. He is a manager in the insurance field. I asked him if he could not be at work for a few days or work remotely.
He responded quickly, “We don’t operate that way.”
“What if an employee of yours needed to be home one day a week to give their spouse a break from elder care or child care? Could you allow them to work from home once a week?” I challenged him.
Digging in, “Nope, we don’t operate that way.”
I pushed, “What if he or she were a great employee and you would potentially lose them (maybe even to the competition) if you couldn’t accommodate their needs? Would you make the case to your leadership then?”
“Well, yes, if it mean losing them, I would fight for them.” he responded.
Now open, I tried to see what the barriers are for him professionally. Was it his company or was this in his belief system?
“So, what if you were the employee who was worth accommodating verses your leadership losing you? Do you think they would allow you to do a one month work from home on Friday’s trial?” I asked.
“I think they would.” He allowed.
Coaching along, I explained, “Do you think you could try the one day a week thing and help to change the culture of your office? If so, in a year or so could you see yourself working from another city and popping in at the HQ a couple days a month?”
I am not sure if my client is ready for a change like this or even wants it. At least we got a shift of thinking.
What if your job requires time on a specific project? Can you arrange a time to work remotely on this? Would it be a better work environment for you? What other ways can you break through this old yellowed factory glass ceiling of traditional work of ours, to better your productivity? Would this make you happier and more importantly, do you think you are worth it?