The Clock Watcher

You have probably worked with someone who always managed to stretch their workload to seemingly fit exactly into 8 hours. There’s more to it than meets the eye.

The Employee

There really are employees who are more concerned with working exactly 40 hours and no more. They always seem to be aware of what time it is. This undoubtedly is a distraction from their work responsibilities and makes one wonder what their priorities are. Yes, they are indeed a clock watcher. But, there is another side.

The Employer

Just as some employees seem overly concerned with the clock, there are also employers who have the same issue. Some of you may have experienced the wrath of some of these type managers. They’re the ones who seem more concerned with whether someone gets to work exactly on time (often preferably early), leave work well beyond quitting time, and are willing to work weekends and lunches than they are concerned with what really gets accomplished. Now don’t misunderstand me, there are situations where it is critical to be at work by a certain time, such as being responsible for opening a store, waiting on customers and so on. But, really, if an employee is not in one of these kinds of positions, why does it matter if they arrive at 8:40 instead of 8:30 if they are able to get the work accomplished? I’m not talking about habitual lateness. But, think about it. Would you rather have a good, skilled, and dedicated employee who does excellent work but is not so concerned with the clock or would you prefer a clock watcher who does the job but shows very little initiative? A skilled, dedicated worker who accomplishes what needs to be done is also the one who generally knows when some weekend or evening work is really needed, but they also know the importance of a healthy work-life balance.

It’s a New Work World

Companies like Google, Apple Computer, and a host of others are redefining what a good employee looks like. No longer is the hours worked such a critical element. These companies recognize the importance of being flexible, allowing employees adequate time away from work (see Vacations – More Than Fun), and understand that employees are happier, more loyal, and contribute more when they perceive their employer values work-life balance. (For more on this see The Over 40 Hour Myth) These are companies who are not the employer version of the employee clock watcher.

Is your company stuck in the past or does it acknowledge and accept that the rules have changed?

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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