9 to 5 Not Necessary
Just read an article from Silicon Republic (Digitally savvy workers do not adhere to 9 to 5 routines) and was inspired to share it here. The author of the article is mostly discussing the effect having such workers has on the IT aspect of a large business. Security and multi-platform issues are totally valid and worth considering for large businesses in the fast-changing workplace. One particular line of the article caught my eye though, and I read it with some amusement I must admit:
“the challenge of measuring productivity levels accurately”
Measuring productivity is an issue that faces most businesses and even truly showing productivity is a challenge in my opinion. I spend a lot of hours at my computer every day. Not as many as when I worked full-time, but a lot. I work a lot and steam through projects for my clients, but I also have a lot of unproductive time. I don’t think many people can be productive for 7-8 solid hours every work day. I think true productivity is likely to be far better achieved when people can work in the hours that work best for them, their colleagues and their employer, but that definitely is not always going to be between the hours of 9-5 from a cubicle in an office tower.
In my almost 4 years as a virtual paralegal I’ve learned a lot about working flexibly, the problems that can arise cross platform and how beneficial it can be for my clients to have access to a worker who works non-traditional hours. I’ve learned that the fact I like to work at night can be very helpful when someone needs something for early the next day even though it’s already past 4. Or being in another time zone means you can make an early start for some clients, or finish off your day by helping someone who’s 7 hours ahead of you. Sure it’s not all roses, you might get up at 5 for a phone call, or stay up until 11. But it’s a great way to work when LIFE doesn’t start at 5:30 pm. I go to school events in the afternoon and bring my laptop to Kung Fu lessons. Someday I may choose to work 9 to 5 again, but I sure hope by then that more employers recognize the value of non-traditional hours, and perhaps (hopeful I know) that they focus less on exactly how many hours are spent on something and more on the goals achieved at the end of the day, even if the day doesn’t end until midnight.