Workshifting in Lafayette CA? It’s Just Mobile Me in the Minivan

My new favorite word is Workshifting, a word that seems a bit under the radar out here in San Francisco suburbia. Google it and you’ll see that it only returns 274,000 results, which is pretty low in the land of search engines. Google “Workshifting” and “Lafayette CA” and there are 2 results. Yes — 2. What else can you Google with such anemic results that’s not a typo?

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Workshifting with my Laptop in Lafayette CAAccording to Citrix, the definition of Workshifting is “Using the web to get work done anytime, anywhere — outside the
traditional office space.”

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“You mean they should put a picture of you next to the definition,” my 20-year-old son said when I asked him if they were teaching that word in his Santa Clara business classes.

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He’s right — workshifting is my life, although I’m much more likely to workshift within Lafayette CA instead of in airports, hotels and random internet cafes cross the continent or world.

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A typical day for me means spending some time in my home office, but an increasingly larger amount of time in other 94549 wi-fi zones, from those that serve coffee to client conference rooms to the Chamber to my kitchen counter. I’ve even been known to sit in the Whole Foods parking lot, click-click-clicking on a laptop.

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I’m Lafayette workshifter transported by nothing more exotic than my 2002 silver Odyssey.  Out long enough that I never stray from home without the MacBook’s power cord and the iPhone charger.

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In some ways, the way I work in Lafayette is the way I studied at the University of North Carolina. I wasn’t one to hang around my dorm and I didn’t have a favorite library carrel. I carried my desk in my backpack, finding different spaces to work throughout the day, from the main reading room at Wilson Library to the MBA Lounge to empty classrooms. Sometimes I studied while I worked at the Zoology Library in the evenings. The difference is that the only high tech thing I carried in that backpack were the cards I was typing commands onto for my Computer Sci class.

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No doubt, Robin as current big-deal workshifter is a stretch. I would be better suited as the poster-child for “Local Workshifting,” the wi-fi version of old fashioned local business person who moves through town working with clients where they want to work, not in my office.

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I’m guessing, though, that “local workshifter” returns even fewer Google Results so let’s not fine-tune the terminology. Yet. (Just remember where you heard it first.)

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What’s really up with this “workshifter” terminology besides the eerily similar ring to “Shape Shifters” in the show, Fringe? Intentional Coolness? Not exactly.

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What I think is happening is Citrix and others are trying to identify a new brand of B2B Consumer. Citrix is using “workshifting” (the word) the way that Hubspot coined “inbound marketing.”

If Citrix and become the go-to place for those of us increasingly living this mobile work life, we’ll turn to them not only to talk about problems but to find solutions we need to make our “workshifting” lifestyle work even better. Solutions we’ll likely be willing to pay for.

I’m not knocking it. In fact, I’m enjoying some of the blog posts I read on

I’m not sure that Citrix invented the word, and it doesn’t matter. By embracing workshifting vernacular early and working it hard in online spaces (including the domain name), they’ll represent an increasingly large share of the Google Results when more people go mobile and look for information about this work lifestyle. That alone promises a high degree of click-throughs.


Are you a Lafayette Workshifter, too? Where’s your favorite Lafayette CA wi-fi spot?



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