The whole 40 hours/week thing originated from the Fair Labour Standards Act of 1938 and was conceptualized to end the child labour practice and also establish the minimum wage. This has been used as the standard for efficiency, competency and effectiveness. But in this information & service economy, is this good enough measurement of a job well done?
This is some of the beliefs people have about work:
- Most work happens during weekdays (Monday to Friday) – 8am to 5:30pm
- Results are generally proportional to efforts
- Those who work a lot of hours get more work done than people who work lesser hours
- Working beyond your office timings or out of hours is not good for work-life balance
- People who can get their work done in less time should get more work
- Roles and responsibilities bring clarity to work
- If people are given control of their own schedules, they will take advantage of the system
- Managers with direct reports cannot work from home
- The best collaboration is done face-to-face
- People who work from home aren’t really working because work takes place in an office
Technology has changed the game a lot. People now telecommunicate and do business via all the minutest gadgets at hand – but we’re still operating according to the old industrial age rules. The rules of the old factory floor.
Give people a little more control of their time and their jobs and they would generate creative, innovative solutions to problems at all times and in all sorts of surprising places. In a ROWE (Results-Only-Work Environment) people work where and when they work best.
Each person is free to do whatever they want, whenever they want, as long as the work gets done. Employees control their own calendars and are not required to be in the office if they can complete their tasks elsewhere.
This means lesser time and lesser energy devoted to getting to and from work and more time and energy spent doing the actual work.
The person works when he feels he can work the best. Of course, there are ways to manage that too. And then time becomes something you truly manage, because it is yours!
Continue… The future workplace