The clock is one of the most anxiety-inducing instruments the world has ever invented. It stresses out workers. It makes us painfully aware of how slow or fast they day is passing. It’s necessary for coordinating with others, but often not useful for people that have solo tasks that need completion.
An interesting experiment would be a company that builds a room that has no clocks, no phones allowed, no clocks on computers, etc. Instead of punching a time clock, an employee enters with an agreed task list, and punches out when done regardless of whether it’s been an hour or ten. No one is tracked when they came and when they left, only what was needed and what was completed.
This could be the future of work. It actually is what a lot of people get when they hire consultants. One of the reasons this will become more prevalent is because tasks based on effort over time are being replaced by automation and machinery. Tasks like assembling things, replacing images in a video (like a face in a deep fake), and even truck driving are examples. They all take a certain amount of time to perform and need to be repeated a significant number of times to get the desired number of products, desired result, or get to the desired destination.
As automation continues, things like ideas for marketing, writing books, making movies, are all the types of things that are left. Take the book writing example, that could take a month, a year or a decade. It’s not clear which will yield better results based on time, it’s more likely based on the skill of the writer. What value is there in assigning a time based system for paying for that service? A deadline makes sense depending on your project, but the actual hours spent don’t matter as long as the product is good.
Take some time to consider other ways you can minimize the clock because if you can’t in your work, that work may not exist in the future.
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