This pandemic time there has been a lot of discussions on work hours and work days and working from home and so on. The conversation will continue as people hash out various aspects of the future of work.
In a recent call that I did with a group of college students over zoom I told them that while we would think a company pays us for the hours we work or be available that is not the way we should look at it. We should look at the value we deliver.
If we think only based on hours spend there are times we will spend more than that hours. What has been evident during Pandemic for many people is that they work round the clock. there is no negotiation of value produced. Who knows that 12 hours is only producing 6 hours worth of real value.
It is not humanly possible to work long hours without impacting the quality and value of delivery. Simple it is not sustainable. But when we look at value instead of hours we automatically have to look at wastage and priorities and efficiency and so on.
There is a simple math I tell people from a place I consulted a decade ago. I joined in as a consultant working on Content Management. Before me there were 3 Product Managers managing 7 projects in parallel. When I left after 2 years I was single handedly working on 10 projects. And again it is not about me being a better PM than others, it was just me checking on what work adds value and not.
I found that my involvement in each project was only 10-15% and not the whole time. I might be called to all the meetings and many I would just have to sit there. So you start saving time there and use that to add value in another place.
Also it helped you to put repetitive work into a process. You became thorough on what needs to be done. Things started becoming easy. The moment you look at Value and not hours, you work lesser hours and not more.
May be initially you might have to work longer but then you will find how things move. Yes you will have days you have to put more time and other days when things are slow.. but always your focus is not the hours but the value delivered in the hours.
I will leave you with a thought ” next time you start work try to write down at the end of day what value was created… it might be tough to point out initially but you will get it if you keep trying….”