Way back in the early 1990s when I first entered the corporate workforce, my Monday through Thursday business suit grind was replaced by khakis and a blouse on Friday. Although this wasn’t a true casual Friday, it was a business casual Friday and thus a day to be celebrated. My coworkers and I were relaxed and ready for the weekend and sometimes it showed in our work. Today, pajama Fridays may be replacing the casual Fridays of old.
Wait. Pajamas? Yes, pajamas. Telecommuting has become so popular and modern technology makes teleworking so easy that realistically, Monday through Thursday office workers can work from home in their pajamas on virtual Friday. Talk about getting ready for the weekend!
Virtual Fridays, regardless of whether one actually wears pajamas, may be replacing the casual Fridays of my younger years. I have to admit, that I am far more productive on a work-from-home day, even when dressed in pajamas, than I ever was on an in-office casual Friday.
Casual Fridays are often met with a casual attitude. It’s almost the weekend, there’s no need for focused productivity when you’re looking at the clock waiting for the virtual whistle to blow. When you work at home, though, you’re likely to be more productive. This isn’t just anecdotal evidence; studies have actually linked increased worker productivity and worker morale to telecommuting.
Earlier this year, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) revealed that telecommuting leads to increased productivity due to fewer in-office interruptions. If interruptions decrease productivity, even in the most productive of environments, then I imagine there would be an even larger productivity hit on a casual Friday when workers are looking ahead to the weekend.
Virtual Fridays don’t just have the potential to boost company productivity, though, they also have added environmental and financial benefits. Removing the commute reduces each employee’s carbon footprint, reduces the amount of time spent on the road, increases the amount of time available to work and saves money on both gas and automobile wear and tear.
What do you think? Should casual Fridays be replaced with virtual Fridays?
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