Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Today, at 10 AM, I will be doing something that I have dreamed about for 2 years.

I will be meeting with my manager to propose telecommuting. I almost certainly face overwhelming opposition. Our company culture is anything but modern. Our average employee age is in the 50s. Most
Boomers don’t understand the desire for work life balance.

Below is a letter that will accompany my proposal. It is aimed at those who will immediately say “no”. And while they are not likely to understand it, at least I am speaking my mind.

The Extraordinary Implication of an Absurd Suggestion
A Proposal for Alternative Work Arrangements


There are people who desire to be still, comforted in the safe tranquility of uncontroversial career choices. This is the secure choice, void of occupational risk but assuring continued employment. Yet even in the face of a stoic and unwavering status quo, I must choose the unsafe.

I propose to be the first employee to successfully cooperate in a mutually beneficial alternative work arrangement in my company. From there, I intend to lead my program, product line, and company into an unprecedented and wildly successful new working model. We will become the industry standard in quality, innovation, and employee satisfaction.

Is my suggestion actually so unconventional? Do we not possess the infrastructure or technological prowess to enable a thriving alternative work system? Is my skill, knowledge, or talent any less potent based on my geographic location? Are my hands any less deft, my mind any less rigid? Why then have we not embraced a culture of transparency, productivity, accountability, and trustworthiness?

The naysayers will claim that the company is not better off for pursuing alternative work solutions, that the current model is just fine. But those who resist the inevitability of change will be swallowed by its relentless and impassive current. They do not realize our company will be unable to survive when our competitors effectively lure, and retain, tomorrow’s talent because they can embrace reformation. We need to become a people company, not a product company. I’m willing to bet my career that the latter is the more lucrative.

Ultimately everything depends on choice. We can choose to actually matter, to have our legacies live longer than our lives. We can choose to continue remain operating in an antiquated mindset, or we can be pioneers and become truly remarkable. I can change the face of an industry or I can be the conventional employee. So which choice is the absurd one?

Bryan Hill

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