Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

How many hours is enough…

Posted by sweens on May 28, 2009


I was reading a blog the other day which dealt with how many hours an employee had to work on a daily basis to satisfy their employer.  I thought this was a really good question to be asking.  I have been in situations where staying late was ‘strongly’ encouraged by my employer.

To which I say – I have no problem staying late.  If there is a reason to stay late!  Often times I have seen employees staying late just to satisfy their employer but they are not really doing anything constructive.  Is there anything wrong with putting in a phenomenal effort for the 9 – 5 traditional work day, and then calling it a day?  I do not think so.

At what point is an employer satisfied with the work day an employee puts in?  Personally I have always enjoyed working for people who let me be as long as I was doing my job.  Take my position for example.  I send out a lot of emails on a daily basis.  People are normally getting back to me after I have gone home for the day.  I fire up my email remotely and respond to some of them.  I call people once they are home from work.  I do not want a pat on the back for this, but I do expect my employer to recognize that while I may leave work at 5pm some days, the work day has not come to end.

Perhaps this is a difference between consultants and employees.  If I work 70 hours in a week (god help me) I do not get paid extra.  But working those hours gives me the opportunity to close some business which in turn is like being paid overtime.  Some consultants for example can work 70 hours in a week and then bill out 70 hours per week.  It is in their interest to do so for the monetary compensation associated with the overtime hours.

I personally want to work for an organization that values the work I do for the company and not how many phone calls or emails I make per day. 

** This post was inspired by Tina Wagener @ http://recruitingblogs.ning.com/profiles/blogs/how-long-can-you-last

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One Response to “How many hours is enough…”

  1. Russ Boreham MREC CertRP said

    Tom,

    Agree with you here. Research has shown that working sensible hours not only increases performance in the workplace by up to 20%, but there is also an argument that because you know you have limited hours in which to complete the same amount of work, you will inevitably find more efficent ways of working and delegating appropriately.

    Note: This presumably only works if you actively manage your workload on a daily basis and set yourself SMART goals each day/week.

    Personally I have always believed that if you can’t do your job between 0800 and 1800 then either you are doing something wrong, or you’re in the wrong job!

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