an actor with a day job i was speaking to once told me after a rehearsal that his job with a well known tv channel was really not that challenging… he came in by 10. 10- 10:30 he had breakfast with a co-worked either at his desk or at the co-workers desk. and then he went back to work, where he logs in to gmail chat…finishes his work in an hour and chats online the rest of the time or better still facebook’s! then it’s lunch and he and his group usually take a long lunch from 1- 2:30, after which it’s an hours work and then off to tea from 3:30-4:30 and they pack up by about 5:30 ish…
Productively he has 2 hrs of work…the rest of the day the company seems to just want seat-warmers!
that’s the one thing i learnt at stanford…it didn’t matter how much time u spent at the books…what mattered was what you gave in….results mattered….it didn’t matter whether you could absorb what you read in an hour and party the entire weekend , starting friday morning…it mattered what you gave in at the next class.
companies lay too much importance on desk sitting and less importance on actual competence! my friend at stanford finished his entire under-graduation a year early–where did he find time, with his excess partying and trillion extra-curricular activities…i don’t know…but i do know that he was valued on his work and results an not how much time he sat looking at books! sitting for 8 hrs at your desk does not make you productive, finishing deadlines, completing tasks- that does!
google and so many other software companies in palo alto have chilling rooms where employees can play ps3 , bounce basket balls ..even go for a swim-DURING THE WORK DAY to INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY!!! there is even a software giant who has a sleep room for a quick afternoon siesta!
PRODUCTIVITY is about making optimal use of your energies …
think about it….
walk into an office and you’ll see 9/10 employees on social networking sites. that’s great- they need the downtime! but wouldn’t it be better if you worked with them basis deadlines and not basis 9-5 p.m.!that way maybe you’ll even end up saving on electricity bills and have a happier group of co-workers….
so today….just start setting personal deadlines for you and those in your team (WORKABLE personal deadlines) and then let them be adults and make them deliver on their deadline… surprisingly ,like what happens in palo alto software companies a lot of employees because of the time freedom they get end up working a lot later and a lot harder….so its win-win!