11 September 2008

ROWE-y: No More Bragging About Long Hours

This is my public commitment:
From now on I will stop bragging or complaining about the hours I spend at work.
It's no secret that I'm a big fan of ROWE (Results-Only Work Environment). And although I won't actively promote it at work, I will start making adjustments to my attitudes and work habits.

Therefore "ROWE-y". Not quite ROWE, but getting closer. Baby step after baby step.

The 7th ROWE Guidepost is:
Nobody talks about how many hours they work.
If I work too many hours, it's my problem.
True, if I'm on sick leave because of burn-out, then it becomes my manager's problem too. But at the end of the day, it's still my responsibility.

Whenever somebody tells me how tough their job is and how many hours they put in I feel the urge to prove that I'm a hard worker too.
At the same time saying that I worked over 50 hours last week is lame. 60 or 70 hours would sound much tougher.

But I'm sick of this. It's a senseless pissing contest which you can only loose because you'll end up either frustrated or in a coma.

If I can't brag about long hours, I will have to validate my value to the company in a different way.
The alternative is to figure out what I'm actually doing all day, deciding what is really useful and necessary and then, of course, remember all these great things that I'm doing for my employer. Because seriously, of the several dozen things I did today, I could hardly remember 10 right now.

Whether I work many or few hours, I'll start concentrating on my achievements. This is me getting ROWE-y!


Cali said...

Happy is ROWE-y!

Keep it up. Can't wait to see what your next move will be...

Cali & Jody

Anonymous said...

excellent point! We all need to be contributing real value not complaining about how hard we work. Why should anyone care about that?

The Happy Employee said...

I'm curious myself to see what I'll come up with. But one thing I can already say: be afraid, be very afraid ;-)

Exactly, why should anyone care? And the good thing is that we won't care anymore, right?

J.T. said...

I can relate to this post. I'm actually starting to hear more non-hr managers (finally!) discussing how people who brag about working crazy hours actually set a bad example for the work-life balance culture they are trying to develop.

Now, how do we get top executives to embrace it?!? I still hear too many of them determining commitment level and value based on hours worked. Drives me nuts!

Cali said...

@j.t. - do you have one manager that might give the green light for a ROWE pilot? That's all you need - just one. Then you can can measure the outcomes of the pilot and show them to the top exectives...rather than trying to get their buy-in up front.

Cali & Jody

The Happy Employee said...

@talentedapps and JT
Both your comments and a discussion I had at lunch last week made me think about why the number of hours are still so important.
Thoughts are swirling through my head and I'm glad I have Evernote to collect them ;-)

So now you're using my blog as an advertising platform? I'm honored!
This is just too cool ;-)

Wally Bock said...

Fine post. I call that bragging/complaining about hours stuff "workplace macho." Reminds me of the Nixon administration where everyone bragged about how hard they worked.

The Happy Employee said...

You nailed it with only two words!
Next time I'll feel tempted to brag about long hours I'll remember that I don't want to be a "workplace macho".