What is So Different About Working Virtually?

Even though the majority of workers today still work in a traditional office, more people find themselves workshifting. In 1995, when author and computer expert Woody Leonhard wrote, “Work is something you do, not something you travel to,” he probably realized that what affects the bottom line of a business is that the job gets done, regardless of location. The terms “telecommuting” and “telecommute” were first used by University of Southern California researcher Jack Nilles in 1973. Today, telecommuters may work from home a few hours per week or the entire week. If you are one of them, you may or may not work in your pajamas and you may or may not have to collaborate with someone in a different time zone, but the effect is the same. You are working remotely and you live by connecting in the virtual environment.

The Pajama Effect is a state of being where you find yourself out of your element and where normal constraints and boundaries no longer apply. The Pajama Effect involves a psychological and then behavioral shift. To function best in this dramatically different environment, you must focus on what it takes to be successful in the virtual world. This new workplace wilderness is an environment that is physically detached, where the conventional structure of the workplace has vanished. Interruptions and distractions abound, making it difficult to get the job done.

The Pajama Effect is a phenomenon brought about by the breaking down of walls. This absence of tradition and structure creates flexibility and new responsibilities affecting every facet of personal and professional life. Smartphones and digital communications have changed the 9-to-5 workday to a 24/7/365 never-ending cycle. You find yourself answering work emails while watching your child’s baseball game or texting your friend during an Internet-based business conference. There are more demands placed on your time than ever before and instant responses are expected. The Pajama Effect helps you understand what it takes to function successfully as you work in this detached yet highly connected and demanding world.

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