When everyone worked from an office location 5 days per week, employers owned the results and employees rented out their services to their employers. “You have purchased my attention, energy, and work product for these hours on these days,” was the message from employee to employer.
Of course, employees stayed late and came in on weekends, but there was a sense of clarity and demarcation between work-time and outside-of-work-time. And, the employer always owned the results of the work product.
Today, with more and more people working entirely from home or in hybrid work-from-home/work-from-office arrangements, the model of who is responsible for owning the work is shifting. Now, more and more employees are not being asked to “be on time,” but rather, to “get it done.” More and more employees are not expected to “punch the clock,” but rather, to “get results.”
This shift is real and it’s significant.
Working from home does offer more flexibility and autonomy for an employee’s personal schedule. It does offer an employee more family-time as the commute to work is reduced or removed all together. It does reduce the costs of going into the office on a daily basis – from less spending on professional attire to a reduction in commuting costs.
But, with these newfound benefits also come accountability. Now, it’s not simply good enough to show up. Checking off the “to-do” list is no longer enough. We – all of us – are no longer renting. We can’t say, “I did my part, it’s on you, now,” to our employers.
We are becoming the owners of our productivity, our results, and the value we are adding to the whole.
A key question for today’s team member: Are you adding value in ways that make a difference?
There is always a trade-off when circumstances change. And today’s seismic shift in work-output ownership is an opportunity for those who embrace it.