Today I read an article by a “Influencer” on linkedIn , commenting about how sad it is when workers spill out of offices at 5pm and how you are better off staying longer because you love your job. You can read the article here: https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140528151904-658789-why-leaving-work-on-time-may-be-bad-for-you?trk=nmp_rec_act_article_detail
Whilst I respect Dharmesh Shah, his views and his opinions – I think in this instance he got it wrong.
It is about a work/life balance and whilst some of us are able to work from home, in a coffee shop at weekends or late evenings, most people has to work in the office and during usual work-hours.
The office is a good place to be because you have good opportunity to meet your colleagues to discuss things, create new ideas, and get help. But also you are usually system wise (and let’s face it in an office environment being able to use whatever systems the company uses is key) hooked up directly and you do not have to worry about a wonky VPN. It also takes away the distractions of working from home, shopping, laundry, cooking, TV whatever it is.
So you go to the office because let’s face it, it is the most productive and convenient place to work, but if you have kids and daycare closes at 6 or even 5:30 you have to throw yourself into the rush hour so pick up the kids and go home and have some quality time with the family. Sure you can leave at 3 and work at home from 9-11 after the kids are asleep, but if you are let’s say in procurement you need to be able to get hold of suppliers and engage in communication otherwise you will slow down an order is you have to wait until the next day for an answer. Not to mention you might have a spouse who works in a shop, and have no opportunity to leave early so anytime together will have to be after 11pm.
I love my job!! But my job means I work from the office – I cannot be a present leader if I am not around the office to feel how things are going, and how the team is doing. I work office hours, we have a call center which is open 8-5 so we need to be here during these hours, and much of my work I do with the help from other people and since they are also in the office we are much more efficient when we meet up discuss and take decisions. Of course loving your job is great – but it is just a job (there are others out there) I love my family even more and spending time with them is incredible important for me, so I leave every night join the rush hour so I can have dinner and a nice evening with my nuclear family. And yes there are days I work at night or even the odd Sunday – but then again sometimes I take a long lunch break or leave early – that is all swings and roundabouts.
My point here – just because you leave work when most people do – it does not necessarily mean you don’t love your job – it might just mean you have a work/life balance.