“Work Smarter and Not Harder”, “We are highly efficient here”, “Time is Money” are cliches that probably all of us have been bombarded with over the years. In fact, I have seen many companies which have really taken this to heart and practically integrate it a functional part of who they are.
And then I have seen companies that haven’t. In fact, I have seen many Managers and Workers throughout my time value “When you start”, “The length of your breaks” and of course “When you leave” far in excess to the contributions that an individual makes the company.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I am not suggesting a ridiculous extreme of only working 1 hour per day from your laptop on Bondi Beach or being lazy and delegating everything – I am talking about companies and managers that have an unhealthy obsession with when people start and finish compared to what they achieve and how they work with others.
In fact, I remember one company which I worked for. I used to spend a great deal of time out on the road with clients and the head office was about 1 hour and 15 minutes from my house. Quite often I would visit clients nearby my house at 7AM in the morning, but when I went to head office it could quite easily be at 9-9.30AM.
Instead of them looking at my workload, and what I actually do – a Manager and another employee used to publicly pick on me for “Being Slack”. I originally took this in a satirical context, but with repetition I could really see they actually meant it.
Even though I did actually work long hours, achieve my targets and have customers speak highly of me – they were so obsessed with judging my total performance just by the time I started.
I then did some tests, I came in early (i.e. about 7.30AM before they did) and the Manager started responding positively. In fact, then I watched this Manager closely I noticed he was obsessed with when people started and finished – and seemed strangely detached from what was being achieved. They just loved whoever started early! Their own sense of “Politics” strangely seemed to subtract from their own “Common Sense”.
This taught me a key lesson – you can convince yourself you are “Busy” all you want, but at the end of the day – if you aren’t achieving what you have to, then you have got big problems!
Make sure what you are doing is logical and the most smartest way of achieving a your objectives. By all means work hard, but make sure what you are doing is sensible!
After all, if you want to run on a treadmill – get a Fitness First Membership! 🙂