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Monday, February 11, 2013

Flexibility to Reduce Workplace Stressors

I attended a seminar last week discussing ways to improve productivity and communication in the workplace.   One thing that stood out to me in the presentation was the emphasis the presenter placed on eliminating stressors so that people could be innovative and creative.   He placed a value on innovation and creativity as the only differentiating factors in creating a sustainable advantage. 

What if standard or traditional work arrangements are creating workplace stressors and reducing innovation and creativity?

This leads me to consider a tie to a book I mentioned last week,  The Elephant and the Flea  and its emphasis on employing free agents.   Charles Handy writes, 

"Meantime, more and more people are going to become aware that their knowledge which drives innovation and creativity has marketable value. They will be reluctant to sell it for a time-based contract, a wage or a salary.  They will want to charge a fee or a royalty, a percentage of the profits.  The difference is that a salary is paid for time spent, whereas a fee is money paid for work produced, irrespective of the time spent on it."  italics mine.

The beauty of this model is that you not only get results, but you get people who are less stressed because they are in control of their own situation, which allows them to be creative and innovative and produce better results.  It also may cost you less.  Many who charge a fee for work produced don't come with the added cost of a benefit package.

Or consider the FutureWork Institute described in the book Now You See It.  Describing the founder of the institutes philosophy, the author Cathy Davidson writes, 

"The workplace of the future had to start taking into account the life desires, not just the work ambitions, of workers.  She was convinced that the best, most creative workers in the future might not be workaholics with the eighty-hour workweeks, but people who had figured out what way they love to work and how they work best."

My two year old snoring is eliminating my stress and fostering my creativity...


As I sit hear writing this post on a Saturday at home, my two year old is asleep in my lap.  Although it took a little maneuvering to get him situated so that I can type,  I can't help but think that creativity does come when we are in control of when and how work gets done. But maybe thats the point... blurring the lines of work and life so much that you don't realize to consider it work, which fosters creativity and innovation.   What could eliminate stress and make writing more enjoyable than two year old contently asleep in your lap?


What way do you love to work and how do you work best?


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