Work Naked: Eight Essential Principles for Peak Performance in the Virtual Workplace

Work Naked: Eight Essential Principles for Peak Performance in the Virtual Workplace

by Cynthia C. Froggatt, Cindy Froggatt
     
 

Do your employees have the freedom to work naked? That is, do they have the freedom to work where and when they are most effective? If not, you may be unwittingly limiting the performance of your company. Laptop computers, e-mail, voicemail, cell phones, and the Internet . . . technology has forever transformed the way we work. Or has it? Despite the myriad

Overview

Do your employees have the freedom to work naked? That is, do they have the freedom to work where and when they are most effective? If not, you may be unwittingly limiting the performance of your company. Laptop computers, e-mail, voicemail, cell phones, and the Internet . . . technology has forever transformed the way we work. Or has it? Despite the myriad technological advances of the last decade, most knowledge economy businesses still cling to the mind-sets and customs of the traditional nine-to-five workplace. Work Naked challenges these outdated practices and uncovers hidden potential that can be realized when employees make smart choices about where and when to work. In this refreshing new book, Cynthia Froggatt offers a vision of the workplace unencumbered by traditional corporate rules and trappings where employers and employees can reap the benefits of remote and mobile work technologies. Discover how Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks, Merrill Lynch, Jupiter Communications, Deloitte & Touche, the federal government, American Express, Autodesk, Herman Miller, and many other large and small enterprises have adopted innovative ways of working and are leveraging the power of the virtual workplace. Using the eight Work Naked principles, business leaders, managers, and employees can shed their old ideas about work and —Take the Initiative to explore remote and mobile work strategies— Trust employees to work out of sight and improve performance —Encourage Joy in the workplace and avoid overwork and high turnover— Celebrate Individuality and encourage creativity, self-management, and stronger solo contributions —Emphasize Equality to remove barriers to communication— Engage in honest Dialogue and enhance global collaboration —Optimize Connectivity among stakeholders to strengthen relationships and attract a talented workforce— Support a wide range of Workplace Options so employees can be more effective in both solo and collaborative work Written with wisdom and a healthy dose of wit, Work Naked is the survival handbook for making virtual work . . . work! The Author Cynthia C. Froggatt, principal of Froggatt Consulting, (New York, New York) advises Fortune 500 companies on aligning workplace strategies with business plans. She is frequently quoted on the topics of remote and mobile work strategies, overcoming resistance to change, and the virtual workplace in a variety of media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Home Office Computing, the San Jose Mercury News, Stern Business Journal, and National Public Radio's Morning Edition. Visit Cynthia Froggatt at www.worknakedbook.com

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"the appealing title and Froggatt's connections to major business media will yield a strong start" (Publishers Weekly, May 28, 2001)

Consultant Froggatt explores employer and employee attitudes about working from home as the traditional office diminishes in importance. (Publishers Weekly, June 2001)

"her thought-provoking examination of this timely topic is presented in a comprehendible style" (Library Journal, May 15, 2001 )

"...essential reading for anyone seriously concerned with or committed to creating new work arrangements that really try to meet the needs of 21st century professionals..." (Professional Manager, January 2002)

Library Journal
Froggatt, a self-employed consultant who formerly worked in the area of facilities management, now advises companies on aligning workplace strategies with business plans. Here she discusses the concept of allowing employees a choice in determining when, where, and how to work. Options include working from home or in a different office environment and choosing flexible hours and weekends. Principles involving initiative, trust, joy, individuality, equality, dialog, connectivity, and workplace options are examined in detail, taking into consideration the responsibilities of both management and employees. Case studies with well-known companies that have successfully implemented some of these changes (Cisco, IBM, and Charles Schwab, to name a few), along with pertinent documentation, support her concept. Her thought-provoking examination of this timely topic is presented in a comprehendible style and would be a good addition to public and academic business collections as well as specialized business libraries. Steven J. Mayover, formerly with Free Lib. of Philadelphia Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780787953904
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
05/24/2001
Series:
Jossey-Bass Business and Management Series
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.37(h) x 1.29(d)

Read an Excerpt


The central message of this book is simple: there is untapped potentialwithin the workforce that can be revealed by trusting and supporting employees to work where and when they are most effective. To take full advantage of that freedom to choose where and when to work, employees need to be unencumbered by outdated corporate rules and trappings. This book is for leaders and managers who are interested in shedding those traditional mindsets and unleashing hidden potential--within individuals and organizations.

Some may ask, "How much more productive can we possibly get?" My answer is significantly more productive: in ways you've never considered before. How are we constraining individual and organizational potential today?

  • By wasting time commuting at peak traffic hours and making workers conform to a 9-to-5 routine.
  • By thinking we can manage workers most effectively by seeing them in the office every day.
  • By embroiling employees in bureaucracy and office politics.
  • By spending too much time in lengthy corporate meetings.
  • By housing employees in one-size-fits-all cubicles that are not tailored to their unique workstyles.
  • By providing environments where it is difficult to concentrate and easy to be interrupted.
  • By devoting resources to lavish corner offices and executive dining rooms rather than equipping employees for optimal mobility and connectivity.
  • By not using our technology tools to their best advantage.
  • By not trusting employees to make smart choices about the best place and time for their work.

In my consulting work, I have come across many situations where supporting remote and mobile workstyles would solve significant business problems. Unfortunately, there is often resistance to initiating these new ways of working. The hurdles to overcome are rarely technological; they are usually cultural. This kind of change involves challenging long-held beliefs about the best ways to perform work and manage people. The process of letting go, of giving up control, is not an easy one. It is essential, though, for survival in the knowledge economy.

Some companies have attempted to implement mobile or remote work strategies without dealing with the unstated cultural issues. Frustration, low productivity, and even failure are the typical results. Whether you are trying to implement new ways of working from the start, refining an existing program, or reviving a failed effort, this book will be useful. It is structured to help you identify and overcome the pitfalls that are difficult to foresee.

This book is not just about telework or telecommuting or virtual office or integrated workplace strategies or alternative officing. It is not just about letting people work from home. It is about giving individuals control over their workstyles. It is about liberating workers from the layers and layers of outdated corporate norms and mind-sets that assume management knows the best routine for workers to follow. It is about management's letting go so as to uncover higher levels of performance and satisfaction.

This book is not full of policies and contracts and agreements and forms. It is full of success stories and profound statistics that answer the question, "Why should mobility and flexibility not only be tolerated but wholeheartedly embraced?" There are many lessons to be learned from the full range of workers who already have the freedom and autonomy to shape their own workstyles. Some of the stories come from corporate employees who are considered telecommuters, virtual office workers, or road warriors. Other lessons come from leaders and members of large and small virtual organizations. There is also a lot to be learned from free agents, contract workers, and leaders of home-based businesses. You'll hear from the people who led their company's effort to go virtual or allow employees to work from home and learn how they overcame resistance. The examples include companies that encourage mobility so that people can support customers better as well as companies that allow flexibility so that employees can handle work and personal responsibilities. The payoffs are both tangible, such as reduced costs of turnover, and intangible, such as happier employees and families.

This book has been written for business leaders and managers who are looking for ways to achieve one or more of the following goals:

  • Pursue new growth opportunities.
  • Attract, retain, and develop high-quality talent.
  • Maximize creativity and innovation.
  • Respond faster to market changes and customer demands.
  • Expand into new locations (nationally or internationally).
  • Reduce costs and overhead.
  • Encourage more open communication and knowledge sharing.
  • Improve employee morale and commitment.
  • Increase customer satisfaction.
  • Optimize quality of products and services.
  • Facilitate more powerful use of technology.

It is for leaders who want their companies to be considered an "employer of choice" and an admirable competitor. It is for managers who have struggled to implement new ways of working in their departments or companies with limited success. It is for corporate decision makers who can't understand why people aren't using the existing alternative work arrangements. It is for leaders of virtual teams or organizations who think they could be working better. It is for graduating college students and younger members of the workforce who want a different workstyle and lifestyle from that of their baby-boomer parents. It is for all workers who would like to change the way they work--for whatever reason.

The Introduction and the first chapter explain the origin of "Work Naked" and the value of remote and mobile work strategies. The next eight chapters focus on the layers of obstacles to be shed in the course of implementing each of the eight Work Naked principles:

  • Initiative
  • Trust
  • Joy
  • Individuality
  • Equality
  • Dialogue
  • Connectivity
  • Workplace Options

The last chapter restates and summarizes the eight principles, then presents a list of resources for further study and action. Start by reading the introductory material to get a good understanding of why these eight principles are important. Then read the chapters in any order you desire. Try reading the ones that intrigue you the most or scare you the least. Go with your gut feeling--it will probably lead you to the chapters that are most important for your company. At some point, it would be useful to have read all the chapters. The principles work together as a system rather than forming a sequence. All eight principles need to be revealed before you can realize the full benefits of freeing your employees to work where and when they are most effective.

Cynthia C. Froggatt

New York, New York

March 2001

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Enlightening, enjoyable, and extremely practical, Work Naked offers real clarity about what is wrong with the way most companies work, plus exact directions on how to fix each and every office foolishness. Do what Froggatt says and watch your employee productivity rise." —Scott Shuster, Business Week

"High-tech tools (cell phones, laptops, e-mail, bluetooth, videoconferencing, etc.) are not and never have been sufficient by themselves to gain competitive advantage. What's needed is a concurrent change in corporate culture, and Cynthia Froggatt helps lead the way." —William R. Pape, cofounder VeriFone, Inc.

"Work Naked is a lively and eminently practical book. Froggatt pulls off a graceful sleight of hand with this engaging book: she uses the topic of working remotely as a trojan horse to cover virtually every essential element of working in the new economy. A great guide for those who are working remotely — and those with far-flung employees." —Tom Ehrenfeld, columnist, The Industry Standard, and author, The Startup Garden: How Growing A Business Grows You

"Work Naked's eight principles provide keen insight into how we must change our attitude about work and the workplace to tap the extraordinary power of human creativity in the rapidly evolving connected economy. A must-read for enterprise leadership and those with a stake in achieving and sustaining competitive advantage." —Michael Bell, research director, Gartner Group

"Cynthia Froggatt makes a persuasive case that the best way — indeed, the only way — that business leaders can stir creative minds is by giving up control. Her message to corporate America is powerfully simple and simply powerful: set your workers free." —Daniel H. Pink, publisher, FreeAgentNation.com, and author, Free Agent Nation: How America's New Independent Workers Are Transforming the Way We Live

"Three centuries after we first started going to centralized workplaces, someone has finally broken through the weight of tradition and given us a guide to the next generation of work and workplaces. Work Naked is your escape route from the world of cubicles, time clocks, and all the other vestiges of the Stone Age of the workplace." —Gil Gordon, telecommuting consultant and author, Turn It Off: How To Unplug from the Anytime-Anywhere Office Without Disconnecting Your Career

"A highly useful exploration of the joys and gains of broadening the range of styles, places and time structures which we define as 'real work.' It is filled with useful data tied to stimulating case examples." —Fritz Steele, consultant on organizational and environmental chang, Portsmouth Consulting Group

"With compelling stories about high performing free agents and corporate employees, Work Naked breaks confining stereotypes about how and where people work. An experienced workplace consultant, Froggatt provides practical guidelines to corporate managers about how to support value adding work anytime, anyplace." —Michael Joroff, senior lecturer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and workplace consultant, author, lecturer, and researcher

"In a highly readable style combining survey data with case study examples and simple checklists and diagnostic tools, Froggatt presents a strong case for working virtually. For managers thinking about how to introduce and implement some form of virtual work, Work Naked is likely to become an indispensable primer." —Franklin Becker, professor and chair, department of design and environmental analysis, and director of the international workplace studies program, Cornell University

"Cindy Froggatt strips away the seven (actually eight) veils that have prevented us from seeing what the future office will be like. What matters isn't territory any more. We can all change our lives far more profoundly if we dare seize control of our time. This new dimension of freedom will reshape not just our work styles but the entire landscape of the new century." —Francis Duffy, founder, DEGW and author, The New Office

"In this enormously useful book, Cindy Froggatt explains with frankness why managers need to improve the way they treat employees. Cindy writes the simple truth that the best managers treat employees with dignity and trust, giving them the necessary freedom to balance overwhelming life and work issues." —Marilyn Zelinsky, senior editor, Home Office Computing Magazine and author of New Workplaces for New Workstyles and Practical Home Office Solutions

"This enlightening book will sharpen a corporate leader's ability to become a master on the 'infrastructure gameboard.' Froggatt's practical case studies enable readers to understand how, by providing the correctly balanced infrastructure of physical and virtual workspaces for employees, they can promote the development of the kind of revolutionary innovations which fuel today's fiercely competitive businesscape and lead to increased shareholder value." —Nancy Johnson Sanquist, director of strategic initiatives, Peregrine Systems and fellow of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA)

"This book is truly essential reading for anyone who is seriously committed to creating work options that really meet the needs of professional men and women." —Laraine T. Zappert, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Stanford University, School of Medicine, and author, Getting It Right

"Work Naked is not simply an alternative to the traditional workplace or workstyle...It is evidence of the liberation of workers from hierarchical burdens, frustration due to mistrust, overwork, stress, fixed work hours, idea-hoarding, and unpleasant work environments. Cindy shows us a map to the knowledge society that will replace industrial society in the 21st century." —Mototsugu Nakatsu, president, Nakatsu CRE/FM Consulting Inc, Tokyo, Japan

"If you want your company to be more successful and the place people want to work, you must read this book. Cynthia Froggatt, an experienced workplace consultant, tells us how to enable people to do their best work." —Peter Lawrence, chairman and founder, Corporate Design Foundation

Meet the Author

CYNTHIA C. FROGGATT principal of Froggatt Consulting, (New York, New York) advises Fortune 500 companies on aligning workplace strategies with business plans. She is frequently quoted on the topics of remote and mobile work strategies, overcoming resistance to change, and the virtual workplace in a variety of media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Home Office Computing, the San Jose Mercury News, Stern Business Journal, and National Public Radio's Morning Edition.

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