I recently read an article on HBR.ORG titled “Stop Working All Those Hours” and it has really made to stop and think about how people, myself included, measure success. The general premise here is that success in the workplace is often measured by the amount of time spent in the office. Stop and think about this for a moment; is it true?
Will spending 50+ hours a week in the office really make you a better employee? Or is it a perfect demonstration of not being as efficient as you could be? Metrics are an important factor in a business, I mean you have to have some empirical data by which you compare employees against each other. But is hours worked a valid metric? Does the employee that came in on Saturday deserve recognition if they could have completed the task on Friday? Is the employee that leaves early to watch their childrens’ little league game less dedicated to his or her job?

Stop working so much!

That last question sort of hits close to home for me because I am frequently hard on myself for having to leave or miss work for any reason, but at the same time I refuse to be one of those parents that doesn’t get to see their children grow up. If time spent truly is a valid metric for measuring employees then my career progression is possibly doomed to be a slow and arduous process.

Admittedly time spent is a metric we instantly gravitate towards, I do however believe that it is, at the very least, an unreliable total picture metric. As leaders and managers we should strive to identify metrics that are specific to a position. By doing so we will be able to obtain a much better idea of how well our employees are actually performing.

As an employee I feel that it is important to closely evaluate our efficiency. If you can make yourself more efficient then perhaps you can spend a few of those hours focusing on your personal life as well. A couple more hours spent catering to yourself will go a long way in ensuring your happiness and overall well being.