Thursday, June 02, 2005

Trust your staff

Since becoming self employed six months ago I have realised many things about the ‘office’ situation.

One of the things I now advocate - even more than I used to – is that staff working in areas where they are not in direct contact with customers, and who are office-desk based, should be allowed to work the hours they want.

The accountability they have is simply to do the work required in as many hours as it takes.

Yes I know that might sound crazy. But I genuinely do not think it is crazy.

I sometime work now until midnight. Sometimes I don’t start until mid day. Other times I will start at 7 am and then at 2 pm on another day.

My point is that I do not have to ‘report to’ a certain place to be able to do my work in a certain ‘shift.’ Frankly, all I need is a phone and a PC.

I realise, of course, there are other reasons people go into the office such as the personal inter-action but surely if people were allowed to work when they like their inter-action would more likely be of their own choosing rather than being required to sit in the same room as the people they work with – and maybe don’t actually like!

This may seem pie in the sky to those of you reading this who like the discipline of regular hours and times. For me it would be easy to allow people the freedom to choose the hours they work as long as they are fully aware that the buck stops with them for the outcomes.

To me this is another way of proving to our staff that we trust them.

I guess there will be few advocates of this approach.

By the way, I am talking of something here far more radical than good old ‘flexi time’. I am talking about staff making the rules about their own hours completely.

People should not be judged by how many hours they sit at their desk – they should be judged by the outcome of their efforts.

Just a thought


timage said...

trevor...just found your blog and found myself nodding my head as I read this post (11:35pm, my time). I'm working late and am glad that I have an employer who understands the concept of "get your work done" and it doesn't matter when you punch the clock.

felix gerena said...

I absolutely agree. I´ve made this same comment so many times with other colleagues. Always value the outcome, has been one of my principles at work. I´ve seen so many times people with outstanding curricula but unable to draw a circle. Always value the output, I say. An exciting topic, Trevor.

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Tim and thanks Felix - excellent observations from both of you.

Why don't more bosses understand that simply sitting at a desk does not equate to working??!!!

We have to change this culture of 'mistrust' to 'trust.'

One of my favourite sayings is

'The best way to gain power is to let go of power'

A paradox I know but one I passionately believe.

I don't like the use of the word 'power' but you guys know what I mean! :-)

11.35 pm - brilliant Tim - coffee keeps me awake when working late!!

As one of of my best mates says 'Sleep is over rated'

Keep it simple guys