Full Engagement vs. Full-Time

By jer979!! | www.publish0x.com/jer979 | 26 May 2021

tl;dr: We’ll look at the 9-5 workday the same way we look at the horse and buggy. Quaint, but not modern.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the organization of the future, both from the incentive side (cryptoeconomics) as well as the strategy execution side (OKR-Objectives and Key Results).

It strikes me that, though we are in the midst of a multi-decade transition from the Industrial Economy to the Knowledge Economy, there are many, many behaviors and thought patterns that are leftovers from the previous paradigm.

One of them is the idea of working at something “full-time.”

What Covid has shown many people, or at least many knowledge workers, is that productivity and outcomes can be divorced from location and time.

Millions of people now realize that you don’t need to be in a specific physical location to contribute. And those same people have also realized that asynchronous work can be just as valuable as synchronous work.

Are there times when synchronous work makes sense? Of course. If we are having a meeting at 9am, we should both be there.

But if you are productive at 4pm and I am at 4am otherwise, why should we both be constrained by the shackles of a 9-5 workday which made sense when you and I were standing next to each other on an assembly line or sitting in a sweatshop?

In a Knowledge Economy, it makes no sense at all.

I’ve seen the statistics below a few times (sorry, don’t have the source atm), that says that most organizations have only 29% of their employees “fully engaged” in the mission. Another 52% do their jobs, but are lacking psychological commitment. The rest are actively rowing in the other direction.

The image and the metaphor are about as simple and powerful as are necessary (a good reminder there for comms).

The more psychologically engaged an employee is, the more likely the overall entity is to succeed.

Instead of time clocks with punchcards, we’ll have mental health check ins with engagement-o-meters (but hopefully better names than that).

In the future, no one will ask “are you full-time at company X?”

They will ask ‘are you fully engaged in your work at company X?”

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