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Telework or Just Work?

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“Where do you work?”

It’s one of the most common questions I get throughout my working day with clients. Places where people think I am include:

  • Fort Worth
  • San Francisco
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Seattle
  • Portland

All of these make sense. Most of my colleagues work in Fort Worth. The partner I work under is in San Francisco. I usually say I live in Washington state but sometimes I leave off the state part so people think I’m in D.C. I used to live in both Portland and Seattle so people may just have some outdated information.

In reality, I live in Southeastern Washington state in an area called the Tri-Cities. I live here because my wife works in this area. And I’ll likely move again at some point.

To be candid, I’ve worked in many places. In hotel rooms in San Diego, in conference rooms in Chicago, or to the sounds of slot machines in the Las Vegas airport. Even at home, you’ll find me in a coffee shop once a week for a few hours. In between calls and work, I make lunch or I play with my daughter. I work early and late and a variety of times in between.

I like traveling for my job and I like the ability to work where I want. If I wasn’t good at it, I’d probably be doing something else — by choice or otherwise. But I don’t consider it to be something different than what anyone else does anymore.

If your job can be done easily from wherever and you can manage it, why not? And if your job can’t be easily done from wherever or you can’t manage it, why force the issue?

In a few years, people will wonder about the terms we use to classify where people work. Does telework as a term even make sense? What about telecommuting?

The biggest question for me is whether my device is on and if I have capacity to work. This week is one of the ones I’ve turned them off (for the most part). That’s what work is now. Maybe this idea of telecommuting or telework was hot five or ten years ago, but hopefully it will just be assumed that many people will be working where they can best flourish, at an office or not.

By Lance Haun

Strategy for The Starr Conspiracy. Former HR pro. Portland guy (Go Blazers!) and WSU alum (Go Cougs!). I get to write about what I want here.

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