It’s odd that so many employers worry about their remote employees goofing off, instead of just focusing on results, when, in fact, everyone I talk to has opposite problem–overworking and turning it off at the end of the day.
I read an interesting study on Saturday–yeah, Saturday, the day most people are out having fun. The study, conducted by WorldatWork and The Future of Work, was about how the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) makes it hard for managers to allow hourly wage employees to workshift. Introduced in 1939, the FSLA was enacted in an effort to, among other things, keep employers from underpaying and overworking employees. In the context of workshifting, the problem is that the Act requires managers to monitor their hourly worker’s schedules. Did they take their break at 10 a.m.? Did they work overtime? What about those “after hours” Crackberry messages, emails, etc. They all count toward the workday.
So as I sat here on Sunday, yeah, Sunday–the day of rest, thinking about what to write for this blog, I wondered who’s watching out for me. Certainly not my boss. She’s the kind of slave driver that inspired the FLSA to begin with. She has me working 10 hour days. “Just finish one more email” she whispers to me at 8 p.m. And I don’t remember any time-and-a-half in my paycheck. Heck, I don’t even remember a paycheck.
I’ve interviewed dozens of workshifters with a similar stories. One guy told me it got so bad that he finally resorted to leaving his home office, driving around the block, and returning home to mark the end of his day.
Any thoughts out there for how you turn it off?
Photo by: Dhaval Shah