Focused effort

How much “work” actually gets done in the course of a typical eight hour workday?

3 hours? 4 hours at most?

So much of the typical day is wasted in meetings, small talk, coffee breaks, checking e-mail – and of course, interruptions. According to this article, interruptions – phone calls, e-mails , take up approximately 28% of the typical knowledge worker’s day. (That’s 2.25 hours out of an 8-hour day.)

This is yet another reason that the standard idea of the cubicle job with the 8 hour day is outdated.

Why are companies paying people to sit around and hang out and be interrupted all day? Very few people are actually “working” the entire time (or even most of the time) that they’re at “work.” Why not just figure out what the “stuff” is that most needs to be done, and pay people for the actual hours of focused effort that are required to get the job done?

For most “knowledge jobs,” it’s getting to be easier and more efficient to measure and reward focused effort. And both employers and employees will benefit.

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