[IMGCAP(1)] The other day, as I was browsing LinkedIn, I saw a job advertisement for a tax manager.  Now I can honestly say I know nothing about the firm or even the location, but the first three words in the ad made me stop dead in my tracks (and no, I’m not looking for a new job.)  

“Beautiful Downtown Office.”

I read those three words as stifling, painful, and horrifying.

But what shocked me the most is how “old school” firm management believes this is important. Important enough for it to be the first three words in an ad intended to catch a new hire. What is wrong with this picture, firm, and our profession?

Regular readers of my column know work is no longer a place you go. 

It’s what you do, who you are, and a lifestyle. 

A job is not “location based” - especially at the manager level. Yet, this “old school” firm believes that a downtown office is something a “tax manager” level professional would choose. 

Are you kidding me?

WOW! What a disconnect.  

I run an extremely progressive firm and I understand that I am not the norm, however, I believe most professionals would agree that flexibility, technology, and culture are far more important than a “beautiful downtown office.”  

How do we bridge this widening gap? 

How do we help the “old-school” firm owners understand that work happens, everywhere, anytime, and all the time - not just when you are sitting in the downtown office with your butt in a seat on a Saturday during tax season.

That firms need to rebuild their infrastructures because even if they are a completely virtual office or not, their process and their team members can work virtually at least part of the time.

That the “butt in seat” mentality no longer works from an employee recruitment or engagement standpoint and that results should matter more than hours worked.

Isn’t this common sense given the way our culture and business environment keeps evolving?

The talent wars are heating up, so how are we as a profession going to engage our future and current employees in a work lifestyle that grows more progressive?  A work lifestyle that acknowledges the deep change that is taking place?

Waterfront views and a beautiful downtown office, though nice looking through a window, just aren’t going to cut it anymore. Who’s with me?

Jody L. Padar, CPA, MST, is the CEO and Principal at New Vision CPA Group and author of The Radical CPA at theradicalcpa.com