A friend just ‘vented’ to me about a co-worker. Apparently, the woman arrived at 10am today and left just after 4pm, though she is a full-time employee. I was told this woman’s day included a 90 minute lunch break. She usually “telecommutes,” which makes my friend think that most days she probably only works about six hours. My friend was none too happy to hear my response.
You see, it’s no secret that American productivity pales in comparison with other countries. The details are open for debate. Is the work week too long, too short? Should we all take a nap in the middle of the day, as they do in some countries?
Look, most of us are ‘guilty’ of spending at least part of the day engaged in very ‘non-work’ activities. I’ll admit I check my mail in the afternoon. I log onto the news sites at least twice a day, to make sure I’m not missing anything. And sometimes, yes, I will step outside to make a personal call while I’m technically “on the company dime.”
But I get my work done (and then some!) each day. I never miss a deadline, am never late for a meeting, and keep my ‘distractions’ to a minimum. Would my boss argue that anything which takes away from work is a ‘distraction?’ Maybe. But he probably has his own little routine of ‘get through the day’ sidebars. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.
Take it Easy, Baby
If you are constantly late, or always on social media, or anything that truly detracts from your job, then, yes, you might need to change your ways. But everyone needs to let off a little steam once in a while. It actually makes for a more productive worker!
So, while I didn’t say this to my friend, I wanted to tell her to chill out and stop keeping tabs on everyone. Her co-worker (most likely) doesn’t give a damn about what others are doing. So why should she? I just don’t think there’s any need to create an issue out of a non-issue. If the woman is being considered for a promotion over her, sure, I might speak up. But for now, let things be.
We all spend at least part of the day screwing around. Unless you can say that you’ve never, ever done anything aside from ‘nose to the grindstone’ while you were supposed to be working (and that includes going to the restroom or taking a coffee break!), you should sit back, take a deep breath, calm down and just be happy you have a job in the first place.
by Gordon T. Elliott | Residential Life Magazine