What is the value of work?

The way work is valued today is highly related with the historical evolutions and revolutions that we faced in the last centuries. Time is money and so is the time spent working financialy rewarded. The more hours you work the more you are supposed to get. An issue that I see growing is that some jobs do not require hours of work to be completed while bringing high value to the company. How do you reward the employees? People would get money for the time they spent which means in some cases less money. The system that we live in relies extensively on this status quo "Time is money". How many books and coaches are trying to help people with time management? This topic is a huge one. We need to see work in another way. One of the biggest problems that I see with the "Time is money" mentality is that people will procrastinate, not that they are really lazy but because hours spent not doing what you were supposed to do are paid. Yes, we pay people to sacrifice their time. All those discussions about how many hours per week people should work seem irrelevant to me. I see the following problems with the "time is money" concept: 
  • People working long hours because they are in a sense rewarded for it (financially, status, promotions...) 
  • Goodbye work-life balance 
  • Employees are not productive all the time
  • Companies suffer from procrastination
  • Lack of energy and creativity in companies
  • Laziness from employees
  • Creation of slow processes to justify ones existence

What alternative do we have? Some companies such as +Buffer offer flexible time and location for its employees. Imagine what would happened if you said to your employees "We trust you and offer you the opportunity to schedule your daily work as you wish as long as you provide the quality we expect and keep up with the deadlines". Well, your employees have all the reasons on earth to work quickly and effectively to deliver the final product. Here are some advantages I can think of. Write yours in the comment section. I will be happy to discuss about it with you:
  • Focus on quality of work 
  • Focus on effectiveness 
  • Focus on responsibilities
  • Focus on creativity and innovation 
  • Less time lost on procrastination
  • Employees benefit from more flexible time in their personal life (Millenials expectation)
  • Inefficiency is quickly spotted 
  • Employees know what is expected from them 
  • Employee have goals to achieve
  • Down time can be used to think creatively
"High Quality is the Standard"may not adequate to people who are just looking for a paycheck or maybe it will change them into more active and proactive employees trying to increase what they get from the company. One risk is that some employees may start working less hours and deliver low quality products or services. The company can then act and create incentives to encourage employee to aim for high quality.

The process to move from "Time is money" to "High quality is the Standard" cannot be done overnight. You need to take the time to develop a strategic plan for this change. You can start your reflection with the following tipps. 
  • List roles, tasks, responsibilities & final product/service.
  • Described what is expected from each employee 
  • Describe the rewards for exceeding expectations
  • Explain the reason why you want to change
  • Describe the benefit for the employees. 
  • Celebrate success 
  • Determine a time when all employees should be in the office 

The world has evolved. Employees desire more work flexibility to adapt to their changing lifes. The value is not anymore on money but on the quality time you as an employer can offer them. Reward and value quality. 

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