It is high time to stop and look around us. We live in the twenty-first century, and the age of industrialisation is far behind us. In that distant past, the system of working hours that we use today was established. Everything has changed since then, but not the working time.
We are still expected to get up in the morning, go to work and produce the best results in the next eight hours. Why do we not work for five hours or eighteen hours? Why do we not do the work that consists of four parts of two hours with breaks in between? We could go on forever with such issues. The essential question is why we use time as a benchmark for the results of our work? The answer is simple. It is simple for all of us to hide behind the concept of time and nobody wants to get out of his comfort zone. I have recently read a good graffiti “My comfort zone is my prison.”
Take for example someone who is engaged in some creative work – designer, programmer, etc. If there is no inspiration or if the person is not “in the zone” there is little that one can do on the work. Yet, one sits at the workplace waiting for time to pass. From an employer’s standing point, the form has been fulfilled for today; one has been at work for eight hours. From the perspective of results one has not done anything, but for the time being, it cannot be seen. A few days like these and one leg behind with one`s work. We’re not talking about a lazy person, but about the wrong hours for work. If we give freedom and the deadline for completion of work to the same person, it will certainly not be delayed. One will use the most creative periods of a day for work. Between these periods one will fulfil other obligations or enjoy socialising with friends and family. Thereby we achieve a better balance between work and private life. People are happier because they are spending their time better. The work quality is getting better. People are not stressed out and less likely to use sick leave.
In the digital economy, there are many professions where you must apply this kind of approach. We cannot change the working time of a construction worker, bus driver, teacher, but we have to understand the needs of many newer professions.
When we talk about the length of working time, that concept requires complete removal. Concentrate on the achievements. Let’s be clear when we define tasks for employees. Determine deadlines clearly and make sure that these deadlines are quite realistic. If someone can do the task quickly and then have some free time, it is a great thing for everyone. The task is done on time, work delivered and everyone is satisfied. If someone is slower, then give him longer time limits, since only the quality matters. It does not matter how much time someone spends at work.
Finally, I want to bring into question even the place where the work is carried out. How much time is lost when one commutes every day? If the work you do is possible to be performed outside the office, freedom should be given to the people. Let them work in places where they feel best. At home, in a café, in the park, on the beach… If we are focused on results, the location does not matter. That is another situation where everyone can gain. Employees will do the job better if they feel well at the place where they work. Usually, that will not be the office. Employers can have smaller business premises and therefore fewer expenses. Less time will be spent on commuting.
In this article, we have initiated great issues that we will deal with thoroughly. But this is enough to start with thinking in the right direction. Please contact us if you have experience with innovative approaches to the organisation of working time. It is best to hear first-hand how someone has solved the issues that we initiated here.