As the youngest Highgroover, I don’t have quite as much reference to contrast a ROWE with a 9-to-5 type work environment. But I could tell within my first week here that working without a timeclock allows us to have an incredible amount of flexibility.
A lot of writing about ROWE focuses on the way it handles time off: your weekend can be anytime, you can leave for a movie on a Thursday, etc. This seems to me like a silly way to sell the idea. A student who really wants to pass his classes bases his partying around his studying, not vice versa. So why schedule a work week around your weekend if you really want results? Because of this, when I started working for Highgroove I tried paying attention to how our work environment allowed us to get things done.
My first month here has definitely not disappointed. The main benefits, for me, have involved being able to work when I’m most productive. I’m a night-owl and conversely, my brain is frankly useless at 8 in the morning. Rather than sit and stare at a cup of coffee for an hour, I can start (and end) my day late and use time in the office to really work.
Similarly, we can work right through a period of increased productivity (“flow”) without worrying about hours. A couple of weeks ago, one of these moods struck me at about midnight (on a weekday). Worrying about the clock would most likely mean hastily jotting down some ideas before going to sleep (and hoping the ideas are as fresh the next day), just to be able to come in on time. Instead, I could stay up, code while in the zone, and sleep in knowing I had gotten the results I needed.
I don’t mean to downplay the awesomeness of ROWE’s non-work benefits. But having the ability to work when we’re truly productive makes work itself many times more satisfying (and more fun).
How do you make sure your time “in the zone” coincides with your time spent working?