A note on working hours and working at home

Published on 2013-3-22

Yes yes yes, that whole Yahoo thing, whatever - there is more context to that story than "Banning working at home", although whether that is a solution to the problems is certainly up for debate.

I don't care about that, but it's what prompted Hadi to write this lovely article

I've been thinking about this a lot since quitting my job last December, as I've been travelling around and working for various people I've also found myself being given a lot of freedom as to how I apply my hours.

I've come to realise a certain "maturity" when it comes to my working hours, I passionately disagree with Zach Holman where he describes being addicted to work and the line between work/life being heavily blurred as being a good thing(tm). That's total bullshit, and while you might have caught me doing that when I first started my career you will not find me doing it now.

Why not? Because there are so many cool things to do that aren't work - that's why.

How I've found myself working when given freedom

I've been rolling in at around 10am and then leaving once fatigue sets in and I feel that I'm no longer being effective. That can be any time between 4pm and 7pm on most days.

Yikes- that means on some days I've been working only 5 hours if you factor in lunch!!


It's hard to imagine that any of my clients these past four months would have any difficulty in describing my output as "effective" or "productive"!

Working together

That said, core hours are useful, face time is useful, conversations are useful, communication is vital.

This is one of those matters in which good tooling can seriously help, enabling a combination of async communication such as Campfire, Flowdock, e-mail or IRC is vital in these circumstances. If your employees are working at home and they're not pulling their weight - then pulling them in isn't going to solve that problem.

Creating an environment in which your employees feel valued and free to apply their efforts how they see fit is not wasted effort, and I wish more companies would do that.

When I decide what I'm doing with regards to work (when summer hits), I find it hard to believe I'll be working at any company who is enforcing 9-5, or have some rigidly described "flexi-time" as part of their contract in an effort to seem cool.

I've had it with that sort of thing, this I know for sure. I love being an effective member of a team too much to put myself in a position where I feel obliged to sit in a seat for an no apparent reason ever again. (Future employers take note please)