January 25, 2012

are you a clock-watcher at work?

Companies approach working hours in whichever way suits them best, and for many of us working 9-5 is standard procedure. This means that work often feels like school and you may find yourself counting the minutes until the final bell rings so you can rush outside to head home. In many ways this keeps us employees in a mode where our goal often changes from performing well to simply getting through another day - would you agree? 

It’s not surprising that “flexible working hours” is one of the most desirable traits employees seek in potential employers these days. Working flexible hours may allow parents more time with their children or give employees the opportunity to be part of extracurricular activities/hobbies without interfering with their performance at work. I'm sure these people will report better work-life balance and employee engagement.

If your job allows you to manage your own hours (or even just adjust them a little), how would you describe your productivity and engagement at work? If you are someone who really enjoys the security and predictability of working set hours, do you think you would ever want to try a more flexible arrangement?

Always remember that it's easy for your boss to spot the clock-watchers, and you don't want to be sending those vibes. Showing that you can create work for yourself when days are slow can really improve your personal brand. Working on a project until it's complete instead of rushing home when the clock strikes 5 will do the same.

If I were forced to sit at my desk from 9-5 I would try to find ways of focusing on "outcomes reached" instead of "hours worked" by listing goals or outcomes for each day and aiming to tick off as many as possible. For those of you who don't have the luxury of bending your working hours, what effects do you think it has on your performance, engagement and attitude towards your work? What are some things that help you get through the day without looking at the clock and wishing the time away?

Check out this post on changing a culture of clock watching and let me know your thoughts!

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