Created by two HR dynamos (I know, two words you rarely see in that close proximity), Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson, the program attacks head-on what most “alternative work arrangements” only tip-toe around: the fact that we’re literally laboring under a myth (namely, time put in + physical presence + elbow grease = RESULTS). Our assumptions about how work works, where we work, and when we work are relics of the industrial age. That’s not a new problem.
Graham articulates the same notion this way:
The basic idea behind office hours is that if you can’t make people work, you can at least prevent them from having fun. If employees have to be in the building a certain number of hours a day, and are forbidden to do non-work things while there, then they must be working. In theory. In practice they spend a lot of their time in a no-man’s land, where they’re neither working nor having fun.
That idea–that office hours are an admission that we can’t measure productivity–is a really powerful one, and it’s stuck with me over the past couple of years since initially reading the essay.
Cali and Jody have a blog about work and their approach which looks pretty compelling.