The 4-Hour Weekday: Chapter Summary (Chapter 12: Disappearing Act)
This, according to Tim Ferriss, is the new work mantra—and not just for the entrepreneur or freelance contractor but for the new kind of office worker as well. With companies looking to lower costs and increase productivity, the concept of working at home is becoming more attractive from a number of perspectives. Companies are finding that they can give their most productive workers the situation they want without having to compromise what they get from them.
For employees who want to keep their jobs but increase their mobility and independence, Chapter 12 walks you through the process of negotiating a remote working arrangement. Ferriss makes a very astute observation towards the end of the chapter, when he says,
While entrepreneurs have the most trouble with Automation, since they fear giving up control, employees get stuck on Liberation because they fear taking control.
In fact, Chapter 12 serves as the introduction to the next and final main section of the book: Liberation. As Ferriss says to all would be LDers:
Resolve to grab the reins—the rest of your life depends on it.
After walking us through a case study that outlines the negotiating process for a remote working situation, Ferriss then supplements that with a description of the “Hourglass Approach,” an alternative approach that proposes a longer trial period (one to two weeks off instead of one or two days per week initially) as a precursor to a shorter working arrangement which is then worked back into a longer working arrangement.
The chapter is mostly about how to approach your boss and how to time the approach. It ends by skipping the Comfort Challenge and Tools and Tricks sections, which it replaces with a Questions and Actions section designed to prepare people to deal effectively as negotiators. The chapter ends with the ever helpful tips from active Lifestyle Designers, including one with a link to help you prepare for questions about remote office security issues.