I just got home after a long day of meetings. Lucky for me, I get to unwind for a few hours, go to sleep, and then start the same routine all over again tomorrow. How exciting! Really, I’m not sure if it’s any worse than going to the dentist… but I do know that getting my teeth cleaned generally takes less time.
I stepped out of each meeting a few times, I must confess, as I can only take the soul-sucking torture for so long. Since I wasn’t paying much attention to the discussions, my thoughts started to wander. For a moment I did my own thought experiment and pondered:
“What would the workplace be like if I was captain of the ship?”
- First off, I would treat people like people, and not like glorified
horsescows. If you’re feeling sick, go home. If you have a family emergency to attend to, take care of it first and foremost. You and I both know that the work will always be there. I would tell you upfront (and actually mean it), “there’s more to life than work.”
- Work hours would be slashed from 8 hours (minimum) to 4 hours. As a result, productivity would go up! The company motto would be, “we’re not lazy, just super efficient!” Instead of you spending: 2 hours actually working, 2 hours in meetings, 2 hours at lunch, 1 hour browsing the web, and 1 hour making small talk at the water cooler, you would, instead, spend 4 hours actually working (automation counts!).
- The company “preferred hours” would be from 8:00 AM until lunchtime at noon. This schedule would allow you the freedom of eating lunch wherever you wanted since you wouldn’t have to rush back to the office afterwards. If you wanted to, you could take a few hours for lunch, dining at a casual pace and enjoying YOUR company (instead of this one). Afterwards, you could go home and take a nap for an hour, if you so desired. Following this schedule, you could awaken from a well deserved siesta and still have the ENTIRE day to look forward to! This schedule would be my recommendation to you, but feel free to reshape your work hours to best fit your own situation.
- Like any company (even the best ones), release schedules would slip from time-to-time, and products would arrive late to the marketplace. Hey, stuff happens! No sweat, let’s just learn from our mistakes and do better next time. Sure, a screw up here and there will have an impact on the bottom line (revenue and earnings), but we have a bit more margin than our competitors at this company. You see, the CEO really, really enjoys his free time (and life), so he’s more focused on that than making money. His paychecks are no bigger than yours, and neither are the bank deposits going into the VP, directors’, and managers’ accounts.
- People would be laid back and extremely happy. They would love it here because corporate politics wouldn’t exist. How can they at a place where everyone gets paid roughly the same for their contributions and there are no outrageous bonuses, or stock options being granted? Yes, the top performers earn more, but not substantially more. And they don’t seem to mind either. That’s because the only type of candidates we hire are the ones who are too busy going out and enjoying life to be getting worked up over the finer details of their pay stub.
- Burnout would be a thing of the past. Employees would always be encouraged to work smarter, not harder! Showing up at meetings, when you aren’t needed, and where you make no contributions is a complete waste of time for both you and the company!
- Employees who watch the movie Office Space would not be able to relate to it. There would be no parallels that could be drawn, so instead of it being a comedy, the movie would simply be a depressing story about some poor guy’s life.
And lastly, the following would inevitably happen:
- I would get canned after the second or third earnings report (if I was lucky enough to get a free pass after the first one gone bad). Even though the company would be meeting our own internal goals/targets (we would set the bar pretty low), the numbers would never be good enough to appease the Board of Directors and shareholders. My bosses would want all of us to work harder so that we can make more money!!! This would create some serious internal conflict since our employees are trained to focus more on life, not work. So, even though the employees are happy, the company is profitable, and we are making efficient use of all our resources, ultimately, none of that would matter… It’s all about the Benjamin’s… Just wait until they dig deeper and find out that I’ve been donating all the excess cash to charity…
Oh well, it would have been fun while it lasted.
What would things be like in the workplace if you called the shots? What would you do differently? What would your main objectives be?