Stealing Time at Work?

As a society, we are overly obsessed with time. In fact, certain employers have started accusing their workers of “stealing” time.

I think the idea of stealing time is ridiculous. As far as I am concerned there are only two ways to steal time at work. The first one has to do with the time clock, which itself is becoming outdated. Nevertheless, if you are required to clock in and out at work. You need to physically be there to do it. You cannot have someone else punch the clock on your behalf. That is stealing time.

The second way to steal time is by not completing your work. You are there to do a job. If you do not complete your work for the day, and you get paid for basically doing nothing, I think there is a case to be made that you have stolen time.

I think we really need to look at the ways we compensate workers for the amount of work they do. I don’t think time should be the most important factor. I think the quality of work should speak for itself. As such, I think it is time we threw away the time clock.

Of course, as teachers, we can’t really do that. We need to be at school and on the job before the students arrive, all day while they are there, and a few moments afterwards to complete the daily tasks. We are pretty much on the job at all times.

There are several other jobs I can think of that fall into the same category. Jobs where you need to be there to do the work.

That being said, I don’t physically need to work every minute of the day. I can take a ten minute break while the students are outside at recess to check my email and Twitter. I can go online during my lunch as well. That is not stealing time.

I always put in a good effort at work. In the past, I have done some jobs where the measure of a job well done was a number. I needed to make a certain number of parts, write a specific report, load an entire aisle of merchandise. And oftentimes I would get this work done so quickly and efficiently that the employer had to drum up new stuff for me to do.

My question was always, why?

If I finished the work, couldn’t I just get paid for it and go home? Why did I have to sit around waiting for another assignment or for the clock to hit a certain hour? It didn’t seem right.

If we change our perceptions about what work is, and the true value behind it, then we can throw out the time clocks and we will no longer worry about stolen time.

Now’s your turn.

What do you have to say on the topic of stealing time?

Please leave a comment.

3 Comments on Stealing Time at Work?

  1. Hi Chase .. I agree with you – if you're there do the job to the best of your ability ..

    and why I finish things earlier than others and then have to do more work – I've no idea!! Like you .. but I'd rather be an example ..

    Accountable too … cheers Hilary

  2. Hi Hilary,

    As a teacher, my job is mostly about time. I have to be there before the students, I need to watch them at recess and lunch time (when I have duty) and it hardly leaves anytime for the planning, photocopying and other things I have to do. Not to mention extra-curricular activities (like choir and sports)

    If teachers truly got paid for all the extra time we put in, I wouldn't still have a student loan to pay off. Maybe this is worth another post.

    Enjoy your time today 🙂

  3. Hi Chase .. having worked on both sides of the fence so to speak – I understand where you're coming from.

    The Nurses and carers can't stop – some do .. but really shouldn't – we need an extra bod – as there's no break for them. 12 hour days they do too …

    But I can quite see from your point of view .. cheers Hilary

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