09 August 2006

The Seven-Day Weekend

As I've probably mentioned before, I make it a point to not work long hours. I tend to come in early and leave early, and frankly I'm not too picky about the coming in early part...

At the risk of incuring a shoulder injury by patting myself on the back too vigorously, I'll point out that as far as I can tell, I'm also more productive than most of my peers (despite the occasionally abbreviated hours - or maybe because of them?)

My own little correlary to Parkinson's Law (work expands to fill the time allotted) goes like this: Work is compressible. If I really want to get out of the office early, I can get all my stuff done early. If I expect to stay late, I probably won't accomplish that much more...

I mention all this because I'm reading a wonderful book by Ricardo Semler, titled The Seven-Day Weekend. He points out that if we can learn how to read work email on a Sunday afternoon, we should be able to figure out how to go see a movie with our spouse on a Wed afternoon. And he backs it up with decades of real-world / real-work experience. Amazing book - I can't put it down.

So, it's currently 2:30 on a beautiful Wednesday. I'm going home now. Gonna take the kids to a park & play. And it's been a very productive day.

7 comments:

Kim said...

Too bad you're not my boss! :P It's a 9-5 world over here ... Although we have more vacation time than we know what to do with, and we're expected to use it, so I can't complain. (I have a 3 month contract with my new job and I get 11 days off - that's almost a day each week!!!)

I wouldn't mind working all kinds of hours if I could bring my dog with me. Then we could have frisbee breaks instead of coffee breaks.

Dan said...

Frisbee breaks would probably even be more productive than coffee breaks (even though they might not look as "professional," as if fun & exercise were unprofessional...)

Kim said...

Yeah - don't grown ups need recess too?

Gabe said...

Dude, exactly! Work Smart, Play Often. Compressable work schedules are just one more way to work smart. I got this whole idea from you in fact. I just forgot about the compressable part.

Passante said...

Tell that to certain components/agencies at DoD. I name no names but you know where I work.

As a private contractor, I can work in my nice onsite office or my nice home office, as I choose. Regular employees, however don't have that choice. The suits don't know how they can be sure the employees are working if they're not chained to their onsite computers. (The same way you know with contractors, you bozos: by the results.)

When I worked in private industry, before I went into business for myself (and that's a long time ago), I never worked anywhere where I couldn't telecommute. GE "gave" us computers to take home so we could work there when we wanted. All they cared about was results. If it took five hours instead of the sacred eight hours, who cared? More power to you; you got it done faster and your reward is three hours off. GE is not exactly unsuccessful so maybe they know something.

DoD committed to having 75 percent of its eligible workforce commuting by 2004 (I think that's right) and what percentage was actually telecommuting? Twenty-five percent. Talk is cheap.

I think there's an article in this, Maj W. I bet you'd find a magazine somewhere that would be prepared to publish it.

Dan said...

Hmmm... I agree. I'll add it to the list of articles I plan to write someday...

Anonymous said...

According to their site, Google allows dogs to come to work with you! What a cool company ;-) Hooray for frisbee breaks, and free lunches!