Opinion

Autumnal musings and the role of uncommon sense

I’d like there to be eight days in a week so we could appease business owners, keeping the five-day work week, while allowing worker bees three-day weekends.

I’d like to congratulate the New York Yankees on a great year; while they fell short of the World Series they weren’t even supposed to be a playoff team this year. Go Yanks!

I don’t know why people pay for a subscription to MS Office. There are so many free alternatives available that unless you’ve money to burn, you can find great substitutes for this 20th century productivity suite.

Instant replay continues to be a failure on a number of levels. And unless there is indisputable evidence, original calls don’t get overturned. So, why bother. We don’t get reviews of what happens during our life so our decisions can be overturned. Why should sports have this time suck that ruins games when we survived just fine before without it?

Life’s not fair. We don’t get do overs. See previous musing for how sports do not imitate life.

I think drones should fly us to work every day. Just sayin’.

Drones will eventually bring us everything we need, including, in certain instances, work.

Will virtual reality ever be so good that we’ll spend more time inside of it than in actual reality?

Will VR eventually become so good that we won’t be able to tell the difference between virtual- and actual reality?

Not driving, or driving less, is becoming one of the easiest things you can do to improve the quality of your life.

Yahoo and IBM began the work-at-home thing too soon. That’s why it failed. As recently as ten years ago, there were not near the number of productivity measuring and collaborative tools available for virtual workforces that there are now. This trend will only continue and totally disprove the myth of office workers being more productive than those who work at/from home.

Babe Ruth, full-length portrait, standing, fac...

Babe Ruth, full-length portrait, standing, facing slightly right, in baseball uniform, holding baseball bat. Facsimile signature on image: “Yours truly “Babe” Ruth.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Managers at IBM and Yahoo couldn’t keep track of their workers and this could be directly attributed to the lack of monitoring tools and software available when they first began the work at/from home initiative.

I once managed a medium-sized department in a big corporation during the previous century. Workers on my team (and I) wanted a four-day work week and it was up to me to write a proposal to sell it to upper management. Even though I was young(er) then (and I’m older than that now), I was shrewd enough to understand that upper management was not in the least interested in how the four-day work week would benefit employees; they wanted to know how it would increase the bottom line.

Before I explained in my proposal how it would increase the bottom line, I spoke with the team and related that I would be selling how our productivity would increase as a result of adopting the four-day work week. I let them know I would not show the executive team any studies to substantiate my claim of increased productivity due to adopting the four-day work week.

Instead, I let my team know I would be asking for a 90-day probationary period where we could measure employee output during four-day work weeks and then compare it to output of the previous five-day work week setup. I said that after the probationary period, it would be determined whether to continue the four-day work week full time.

Like modern day workers who work at/from home, back in the day, the four-day work week employees were also more productive than their five-day-a-week office worker counterparts.

Employees in the last century understood that being permitted to work four days on and three days off was a perk that could quickly be taken away if they didn’t keep productivity levels high enough.

The same can be said for the modern-day work from/at home workers. Sure, there’s an element of discipline involved in working independently.

But it’s not insurmountable and when the perk of being at home instead of the office for the work week hangs in the productivity balance, I’d bet on the work at/from home individual(s) producing as much or more as their office counterparts every single time.

And that wraps this first-ever edition of autumnal musings at hittingthesweetspot by Bob Skelley.  We hope you’ve enjoyed it.

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