Clock-Watching: Symptom or Disease?

Don’t you just hate the colleague who arrives bang on the stroke of 09:00, takes his five minute hourly ‘fag-break’, coffee, lunch and tea breaks regardless of what’s transpiring and then departs as the clock hits 17:00 irrespective of what’s on the desk, regardless of the time of others which would be freed up if he/she just did an extra two minutes work themselves?  And you can’t get them to change!!!

Equally, there is now a parallel issue arising whereby you are simply not pulling your weight if you leave work before 19:00 and you are naturally expected to be at your desk before sunrise the following morning. Yuk!

Look, the simple truth is that the only man ever to get all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe.  For the rest of us mere mortals, time management is important.  The list of time-management courses available is a lengthy one and all usually prove to be of little value if your own output is dictated by the boss’s workflow management skills or lack of!  Too many people in the corporate environment spend too little time looking at the effects of their workflow management on their colleagues:  for example, the boss departed at 5pm having not signed off on a project.  He’s not in the office tomorrow so his entire staff are into grade 1 thumb twiddling.  He come is in on day 3 and demands full work-ups before anyone goes home that night…Sounds familiar?  You bet it does!

Working successfully in anything other than an individual environment requires a high degree of respect for the time of colleagues, irrespective of rank and status.  Your objective before going home at 5pm on the dot should be to ensure that others are not inconvenienced.  If you find you can’t manage that or you believe that your status within the company allows you to care not one jot about the feeling and motivation of those around or below you then you need help.  If you can’t manage both then you need serious help!

Fortunately, help is at hand.  There are many retiring military officers who would be only too pleased to help you get it right.  These ladies and gentlemen have perfected the arts of motivation and leadership.  They can get people to volunteer to go into harms’ way;  you cant get anyone to do an extra half hour!  Think about it!

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