When you start to talk to people about Dynamic Work, people tend to jump to thinking about it as either ‘home working’ or maybe ‘flexi-time’ which are relatively familiar concepts. But actually, those examples only illustrate 2 of the 4 ‘Flexibility’ dimensions to Dynamic Work, namely Geography and Time. The other two – Role and Commercials are less familiar. The Wall Street Journal’s recent piece on ‘Furlough Fridays’ is a great example of Commercial (ie. terms of remuneration and reward) flexibility that can be a win-win for staff and organisations alike.
“This is ‘Furlough Friday’ and it’s becoming a staple around the country as state governments force workers to take a weekly day off—usually Friday—to help bridge budget gaps. The loss of a day’s work, and as much as 15% of a worker’s pay, is forcing families to tighten their belts. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has put state workers on Friday furloughs since February 2009 and most furloughs are expected to persist as long as July.”
“Friday furloughs are producing an unexpected dividend for many of these workers: Marketers have discovered them. The Boreal ski area near Lake Tahoe offers a ‘Frickin’ Friday’ $15 ticket for furloughed California employees; the normal adult lift price is $47. Don Hutchens, a state highway contractor, said it cost only $30 for him and his wife to snowboard all day while their young son and a friend did so for free. ‘It’s the best deal in town,’ said a smiling Mr. Hutchens, as he toted his board to the parking lot. ‘You can’t beat it.’ “
The danger with ‘Furlough Fridays’ is that when combined with Friday becoming a day of choice for ‘Work From Home’, bosses (and staff themselves) could confuse those with the day truly off and those who are supposed to be getting in productive work. Already many bosses consider ‘Work From Home’ Fridays as ‘Shirk From Home’ and lots of people on the ski slopes could mistakenly reinforce that perception.