Day 22

Are working hours real?

I’ve worked part time for a couple of years now: 28 hours a week. In most situations, I felt being more productive than that number because I was more relaxed and had more time to mentally process things. Although I’ve always made sure to put in at least my weekly hours, my employer never really cared about presence just for the sake of it. When not staffed on a project, we’re allowed to stay at home and work on whatever we like—or nothing at all. My coworkers and I show up when we need to and for most people (including myself) that’s more than the hours that we’re officially employed for. Much of that is for the love of what we do, or some personal mission that we have. But there’s some peer pressure too. I certainly often felt I should stay long after 18:00 even if I was done with what I wanted to accomplish that day.

But with no one around to see me being so motivated, time spent on work becomes irrelevant to others. It’s about (perceived) work results, meeting deadlines and availability for calls.

Of course there’s a correlation between time spent on a task and the quality of the result. But in my experience, from long before the isolation, a little bit of time spent over multiple days is more effective than that same amount on a single day. When it comes to creative tasks, that is. I think this has something to do with my brain continuing to process things while doing sports, household chores and perhaps sleeping.

Now that being at a location is no longer relevant for office workers, will companies rethink what it actually means to be employed?

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