I have a confession: I don’t believe in “clocking in,” or in tracking time.
The idea of watching the clock seems misguided.
At Edoc, we don’t believe that hours worked are what matters. Outcomes, or results, are what matter. This setup works for us because we value creative ideas and innovative solutions for clients.
Because these values are clear, we give each other the freedom to find those solutions however we are best able.
Although putting in a great deal of hours is a bit of a badge of honor with entrepreneurs, startups inherently know that more time does not always mean better solutions, and we feel the same.
It takes a real shift in perspective to digest the concept that work isn’t just about the hours.
But it’s the first step in being able to see how “work” and “life” don’t have to be viewed as if they were two separate parts to a whole.
A Lack of Clock-Punching, and No Longer Aiming to Separate “Work” and “Life” is Impossible…Until It’s Not!
In Lewis Schiff’s book, Business Brilliant, he shares how more than 70 percent of middle-class workers agree with this statement: “I would rather work only during business hours, even if it means I don’t have any control over my time during those hours.” Compare this to 80 percent of “extremely-successful millionaire respondents.”
These people did not mind working outside of business hours. Instead of the prior statement, they agreed with this one: “I would rather have control over how I spend my time…even if it means I have to work longer hours and work nights and weekends.”
What’s the difference here between the flexible workers and the clock-punchers?
Those who could arguably be defined as the top performers in the study valued flexibility, and notably didn’t mind working longer because of that freedom they were given. They likely were rewarded based on outcomes—not just on hours they were at the office. I would assert that perhaps, to these workers, there was less of a divide between work and life, which is why they were comfortable with this setup.
I Don’t “Go” to Work, I Just Do Work
As a remote worker, I am not required to commute each day to an office. For me, I don’t have that physical separation between a “workplace” and the rest of my “life.” And like many entrepreneurs that enjoy what they are doing, having this kind of setup is more seamless for me…Give me Internet and my MacBook, and I’m happy.
Even for people who aren’t able to work virtually some of the time, technology has taken down the physical and mental boundaries today. Our (or the media’s) ongoing obsession with separating work and life is an outdated mindset to managing our lifestyles. It’s outdated because it suggests we can’t truly integrate the two, so we must “balance” them.
I Don’t Want to Fight the Ebb and Flow
There’s an ebb and flow to the nature of my work, and also to how I personally work best. I need breaks, and I’m able to take those breaks with a flexible setup.
As a result, I no longer feel the urge to separate work and the rest of my life.
If you’re questioning whether this is healthy (or even possible), I ask you these questions: have you ever checked your work email after dinner? Or do you ever check your work email when you wake up? Or for social media managers: have you ever responded to a Tweet after 6 p.m.? Of course you have.
That’s because the working world has changed, and it’s time we adapt accordingly. If you have meaningful work you feel passionate about, we’re now able to live our lives in an integrated way where priorities can shift as we see fit. We’re able to respond to emails or social media messages without feeling guilt, and we don’t have to watch the clock anymore. That, to me, is empowering.
Richard Branson often talks about how giving people greater flexibility to get results as they see fit, results in greater productivity from the right kind of workers. Instead of thinking of the different areas of our life as “as antagonistic,” he says, “why not combine them? As I’ve often said, I don’t divide work and play: It’s all living.”
READ MORE: If you liked this post, you might like “From Entitlement to Entanglement”
Kim Sykes is a marketer and content creator at Edoc Service, Inc., a total virtual company.