The New Score: Work 32 | Learning and Development 8

baseballI recently read an opinion in AIIM’s Infonomics magazine by Mike Knoll, a specialist in resource management. He argues that we too often reward people for working long hours and that we interpret sacrificing weekends, personal activities and time with friends and family to mean people are dedicated, effective and successful…a real hero!

He posits that if you have to work 60 – 70 hours a week, you must need training or time to improve processes. Or, potentially, you are hoarding work that could be delegated because you’re afraid you’ll lose your value. Instead, he states that we should embrace the 32-hour work week for the sake of employee health and happiness, not to mention better efficiencies and results.

I say Bravo! Mike.

Shouldn’t we reward people for getting the job done right, on budget and on time…time that was properly forecasted to begin with? I don’t think giving kudos to someone who says I can get that done in week when it would really take 8 days is good business sense. You set unrealistic expectations and it shows lack of planning and poor estimating skills.

So, if we budget 32 hours a week for “work”, what can the other 8 hours be used for? Learning and development.  We want our people to be smart and stay up on the latest trends. Well, this takes attending webinars, reading books and articles, monitoring blogs and Twitter streams and even writing their own content as an expert.

Growth is a key ingredient for success and growth takes thinking, reading, brainstorming and tinkering. And, the most effective time to do these activities is not at 9 pm at night when you’re juggling kids, watching the 9 pm news and cramming a sandwich down your throat. The most appropriate time is in the morning or afternoon on, say, a Tuesday.

Schedule learning and growing into your day. Start estimating work at 32 hours a week and see how efficient and effective you can really be. And then go catch a Cubs game on Saturday!

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