This morning NPR did part 1 of a 3 part series called The End Of 9-to-5: When Work Time Is Anytime by Jennifer Ludden. Heavy traffic, long commutes to sit in cubicles, and needing to save money, one agency (Human Services and Public Health Department of Hennepin County, in Minneapolis, MN) started a practice called ROWE (results-only work environment) = as long as the work gets done on time, people can work from wherever and whenever.  Ending long commutes with less cars on the road and eliminating the need to widen roads (and its GREENer), happier people b/c they can spend more time with their families or doing things they like, has ended up with money savings and increased productivity.  When people are home, working,  they get work done in chunks of time, take breaks, go back and work….  when they are physically at work from 9-5, they aren’t working non stop, but pausing for chats, breaks, gossip session, etc and less efficient overall getting things done.  (speaking personally from experience working in both areana, this is so true!)

Can your library analyze its workflows and processes to allow flexibility with employees?  For synchronous needs, meetings can be held virtually online or instant messaging can be used to chat.  People will have to be in the physical building to serve the public – just as they are in this NPR story example – but does everyone have to be there every day from 9-5pm? probably not.   Save space, save money (on facility expenses), have happier employees, and effective productivity  through willingness to analyze your processes, look at things with a fresh perspective, and change. And you’ll be GREENer too!