Thursday, August 09, 2007

a familiar theme / broken record / deal with it / etc.

Rigid office hours really don't suit me. I can say that because, like most days, I'm here in the orifice past 7PM, despite not being insanely busy just now. Most days, I arrive around 8.45AM. I try to make it by 8.30AM (but usually fail), my revised official start time. Work's official office hours are 8AM-5PM with an hour for lunch (no cushy 7hrs 21min bludge-offs here in the Philippines, people). Because I was always at least 30min late anyway, my boss graciously offered me official hours of 8.30-5.30.

Often, my long hours are a result of crap time management at work: a lot of procrastination followed by self-flagellation around mid-afternoon, then some genuine work for a few hours; before I know it, it's after 7PM and I'm pissed off. I have periods when I'm genuinely very busy (often as a result of too much procrastination when a deadline wasn't looming) and I need to put in longer hours. That's fine, I can deal with that. What shits me to tears is when I spend long hours but I'm not nearly busy enough to justify them.

Part of the reason for my poor time management (apart from my ill-disciplined, weltschmerz-fuelled professional existence) is that, being a "writer/editor", I'm supposed to write and edit. It seems that, often, I'm only capable of doing that in fits and spurts. (I'm sure I'm not alone here.) So being confined to a rigid 8-hour work structure just doesn't work.

I can counter this to some extent by working from home occasionally. Without the typical procrastination tools (I have no internet connection at home; you extrapolate), and without the distractions of the office, I'm a hell of a lot better at just doing it, if I can use that phrase without Nike suing me.

What I'd really love, though, is a job where I'm judged purely on productivity, not on appearing to be productive by being plonked in an office in front of a computer 8+ hours a day. Output not input. Such work structures do of course exist -- I've heard that Google programmers have no set hours, and are regarded only by what they produce.

There are realities one can't scape: meetings, management responsibilities etc. And there can be many positives about being among co-workers (not necessarily for 40 hours a week, mind you). But, on the whole, if I could work whenever I wanted -- within certain limits, I'll grant -- I think I'd be happier and more productive (I acknowledge there may be unseen pitfalls). Better for me, better for my employer; everyone kicks a goal etc etc. I imagine I'd still be in the office 20 of my 40 hours each week -- I'd simply be more effective and motivated when I was there.

It won't happen of course. I can't think of any good reasons why not. I can think of plenty of reasons that would be offered, but none that I couldn't refute convincingly.


Blogger Unknown said...

Dude, I am getting paid per output delivered now and take it from me, it is not nearly as fun as getting through the day procrastrinating/working/procrastr... AND still getting paid for it! "Where have all the good days gone?" Jeffrey

7:43 pm  

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