120% Still Not Enough
- Posted on [December 4, 2008 ] @ 8:04 am
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In Jason’s post on the 120% solution, he says
“If weâ€™re going to have any chance of bringing America back to
greatness, weâ€™re all going to have to work 20% more than we have been.
Iâ€™m suggesting that, until America takes care of its debt, untangles
the housing mess and gets unemployment under control, we all commit to working six days a week. Yep, move the standard 35-40 hour work week right up to 48 hours.”
He’s on the right track, but 120% is still not enough. For me, my job is a part of my life. Not just something I do from 9-5. I might be in the office from 9-6, but I’m responding to emails and taking phone calls at from 7-9am and from 6-11:30pm. People have to step up and do something they are passionate about so that work isn’t really “work”, but rather a part of your life that is fulfilling and personally gratifying.
People talk a lot about 20% time at Google and think, oh, that’s 1 day a week to pursue a side project, how nice. But most of the people I know that use their 20% time at Google work well over 60 hours a week — and they realize that it’s not really efficient to work on a project one day a week, but that it’s better to save up that time until you have a couple of months worth to really pursue something cool.
Anyhow, back to the real topic here. To increase productivity and output, I think companies need to find people who will dedicate themselves to their jobs and to their company’s mission. It isn’t about spending 100, 120, or 140% of the work-week that will improve productivity — it’s more about finding people who want to see the company succeed and that have a “whatever it takes” attitude to see that it happens. And if companies have a hard time finding these people, they need to rethink their approach and figure out a way to incentivize their people.