A better way to approach Friday at work

Even if you’re the most ‘Slave To The Temple Of Being Busy’ person in the world and/or are totally drowning in deliverables, you’d probably admit that Fridays aren’t that productive for you at work. I’ve been working in different types of jobs for 12 years now. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone accomplish anything notable or productive after about 11:55am on a given Friday. Hell, in the summers we mostly just blow the day completely off and no one really even cares.

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Here’s the thing, though: we’re (supposedly) coming up on this generation of the workforce where people want real-time, continuous feedback and they want to blow up performance reviews so that instead of once-a-year-and-everyone-bitches, it’s a bit more organic. This might never really happen, but you’d assume any “future of work” discussions have to be somewhat tangible. We moved from a totally industrial and product economy to a knowledge and platform economy. Can we really make people work the same way and treat them the same way? Pressure busts pipes, you know?

Here’s an idea, though: what if you took Friday — which is a jack-off day for a lot of people as is — and restructured it around the idea of “trying to talk to your employees” and “have organic conversations.” Fast Company kinda gets it:

Every manager knows she should spend time with direct reports individually. Since Fridays are generally slower, they’re excellent days to make this happen. Plan several coffee meetings in a row. Talk about the big picture of employees’ careers, and whether they’re happy with how things are going.

Yea. Makes sense to me.

The problem here is, of course, human nature. Managers often feel they’ve earned something because they’re managers, so … they want those three-and-four-day weekends. And honestly, a ton of managers I’ve had are out the door by 1–2pm on Fridays. But still, 11am on a Friday is as good a time as any for the check-in meeting, right?

This is kind of similar to the idea of “What if every day at work had a theme?” and your theme for Friday would be, “Talk to people about their lives and work purpose.”

I wish that I could write a post like this and think it’s actually ever going to happen, but it probably wouldn’t.

My name’s Ted Bauer; I blog here regularly and you can learn about hiring me for freelance and contract gigs as well.

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Blogging, largely about work and how to improve it. How I make (some) money: http://thecontextofthings.com/hire-freelance-writer-ted-bauer/

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