After going gangbusters for the past week and a half with seminars, it was time to sit and catch up. I took a look at my notes from the Vegas and D.C. events and started typing them up. I’ll get a wiki or some such going. It’s the best way for people to come and go with the collected data.
I forgot how much I enjoy not having much to do. My old roommate from D.C. let me crash at his place once my second event concluded and he went to work like normal, leaving me to my own devices Thursday and Friday. The hours sort of hurried by as I watched the Twitterstream. Now that it’s Friday, I feel almost guilty that I don’t have all of my notes transcribed.
Not too guilty, though. I am using personal days for these final few days in D.C., so I’m not technically on the clock. If I’m a little sluggish is responding to work email, so be it. The purist in me would say leave the work phone off altogether. But I know it’s better to chip away at the email mountain now than try to climb it flat-out when I get back to the office. For all the “you’re not allowed to use personal sites at work” sentiment that still persists in many circles, I don’t think those particular managers realize how much work life already permeates personal time.
Others do realize that, and it’s why I’m very okay with people taking a few minutes to look up that thing on Amazon they were wondering about. Sure, it technically is “time wasted,” but so is eating lunch. So is saying “hi” to a coworker. As much as I thought the message of “give a little, take a little” in terms of personal/work time had already been established in workplace circles, I’m still surprised how often I run into organizations who still believe their workforce is 100 percent productive between the hours of 8:59 a.m. and 5:01 p.m. Most Internet sites are forbidden. Hours are meticulously tracked. I’m surprised they allow talking in the halls.
People have been wasting time since the beginning of time. Facebook isn’t the problem, attitudes and people are.
Luckily, I work for a place that’s not THAT strict when it comes to logging and tracking every second of my day. I’m allowed to check on social media sites and whatnot so long as it doesn’t affect my productivity. If so, my manager fixes what is a management issue. Cool, huh?
But there is the other side of the coin, where employees also need to know when to unplug. As I type, there are five or six brewing storms that I’m going to be sucked into when I return to work after this little break. I could sit here and fret about them. I could furiously write reports to estimate and try to mitigate perceived risks and problems, even if those perceptions are bound to change and shift. I could, but I shouldn’t. I’m off the clock. That’s why they have a clock. Being “on” too much will burn a person out.
So I sit and watch the sun set, looking over to where the light switch is in my roommate’s apartment. Later we’ll go out and chill with some people. And I’ll let the work tempest brew. Only eight-12 hours in the workday, after all. They can’t fire me for not working during personal time. At least I hope they can’t :p