Receive updates via email:

 Updates via RSS

Tag Cloud

Blog Archive

Friday, November 09, 2007

How many hours do you work in a day?

I have recently had some recurring discussions with my friends. It is centered on work-life balance and really, I mean really – how many hours do you work in a day? As you will see me write about in next days here, I believe that a lot of Americans – especially those I run into in certain circles – grossly exaggerate the amount they actually work.

So to that end, take this real-life situation from one day of my travel schedule a few weeks ago…

I woke up at 4:00am and left the house by 4:30am to catch a 6:00am flight to San Francisco. My flight lands at 7:30am and I drive down to my office taking a couple of conference calls arriving at 9:00am. I work through the day, taking a working lunch and leave for the airport at 5:00pm to catch a 7:30pm flight, taking more calls during the day. My flight lands in Los Angeles at 9:00pm, and I arrive at my house at 10:30pm.

How much time on that day was I working? Choose your answer:

A. 8 hours – Traveling is part of the job, and only the hours you spend in the office doing quality work count. 9am-5pm is only 8 hours.
B. 12 hours – Traveling is part of the job, however when you are telecommuting in the car and taking phone calls is working. Work was happening from 7:30am to 7:30pm.
C. 17 hours – There is some amount of commuting required to get to any job. Just subtract the amount of time that you would normally spend and subtract that from the total to get 17 hours.
D. 18.5 hours – from the moment you wake to when you get home, you’re thinking about work so just count it all. In fact, if you did not go to bed until 11:00pm, add another .5 hour to that total.
E. Another number.

If I were the one counting here, I would choose “C” based on my sense of workplace hours. Since my normal commute is 20 minutes each way, that is something I have to do either way, regardless if I am traveling that day. So, subtract that from the total and you get your number of hours worked.

How would you not only choose, but also rationalize it?


michael909 said...

I agree.... Most do blow up the amount they actually work... Sitting down and browsing the internet is not work....