Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day updated - envisioning a flexible work force

Today is Labor Day, an annual celebration of the American worker and the important contribution of labor organizations to this country. What better day is there to rethink the structure of how Americans do their jobs?

Our daily lives have dramatically changed in the last few decades from established structure to flexibility on every level. It used to be that if you wanted to watch the 6 o'clock news, you had to be in front of your TV at 6 o'clock. If you wanted to conduct bank transactions, you had to physically go to the bank during regular business hours. If you wanted to do research, you had to go to a library during their regular hours. If you wanted to take a college course, you had to sit in a classroom. If you were away from home and wanted to make a phone call, you had to find a payphone. None of that is the same.

With all this new found flexibility in our lives, why do employers still have their employees work the same hours, with the same pay schedules, with the same leave schedules, and in the same offices? Does that create for more efficient work product? Hardly. Americans who are searching for more work-life balance, and parents who are committed to spending more time raising their kids, and abandoning traditional work modes in droves.

Labor unions were useful in their day, and in some industries and industry segments probably still serve an important purpose, but there are other options.

The National Association of Freelance Legal Professionals was founded and designed to assist individuals in creating their own jobs, their own careers, on their own terms and parameters. It is not, and never will be, like a workers union. It is NAFLP's goal to assist individuals in their own businesses.

NAFLP is just the beginning, however. What would the American work force be like if all industries had quality, driven freelancers who bargained for their own working conditions and led balanced lives?

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