The amount of work that a person produced in a day used to be proportional to the time they spent at the job. If an employee worked from 9 until 5, you could be fairly certain of the volume and value of output that they produced.

So, because time = output, you wanted to maximise the time that the employees spent at work

But in the modern era, time is no longer proportional to output. There are two reasons for this:

  1. It is possible to use a small amount of time to produce large volumes of output. Technology has enabled work to be scalable, so 1 intense hour of work can be worth more than 8 regular hours
  2. With the number of distractions available to us nowadays, it’s possible to spend a whole day at work and do absolutely no work. If you’re not feeling motivated, you could spend most of your day on social media and produce the bare minimum output to get by.

Because of these two changes, keeping employees around for a mandatory 8 hours no longer guarantees a certain level of output.

Instead, creating output involves motivating the employees effectively. And part of this is giving them autonomy over their work.

The simplest way to do this: flexitime

As long as an employee finishes their work to an acceptable standard, they can go home when they want. Some structure can be placed on this, like a minimum amount of time at the job or being present for certain meetings.

But by allowing an employee to be flexible, they’re likely to produce more output in the allotted time AND get less distracted. Because if they finish their work, they can go home.

The world of work has changed. Forcing your employees to stay around is no longer the best way to do things. Give them some freedom, and watch their motivation soar.

Image was taken outside the economics building earlier this year 🙂

Blog: 287/365. Click here to read about my #365of25 journey

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