'A person who has not done one half of his day’s work by 10 o’clock, runs a chance of leaving, the other half undone.’
We inhabit a world that is regulated by time despite the fact that more recently, our working lives have become increasingly task driven. However, throughout the day we still all habitually check in with a timepiece of one form or another to measure our progress and evaluate how far we are in control of our schedule. We also use time to prioritise and compartmentalise competing aspects of our lives. Interestingly, this ingrained behaviour can both distract and frustrate us and at times actually hinder productivity in our professional lives.
It is clear that the economy of time has been revolutionised by the advent of digital technology. This can be seen in the prevalence of social media and email that has resulted in a situation where we are now potentially available around the clock. Thus, there is a constant blurring between work and leisure time with each element trespassing, for want of a better word, into each other’s territory. Consequently, the phrase and notion of ‘office hours’ has become archaic and replaced by an ‘open all hours approach’ to both business and social interaction.
In architecture, clients require an exacting timeline for projects because for them time means money. Therefore projects often have a series of deadlines that chart progression from one stage to the next and simultaneously serve to underpin and fulfil the client’s expectations. However, often the time required to achieve this level of service is calculated speculatively which means flexibility is essential when an important deadline looms. This is where a task-based approach ensues in order to guarantee delivery. Therefore, one is always trying to get ahead in the early stages of a project in order to accommodate any unforeseen challenges that may present themselves further down the line.
Many businesses have adapted to this change and office culture has evolved to a point where there is now a more flexible approach to working life. Consequently, it is not unusual for team members to work from home, job share or even work on a consultancy basis. Therefore, the real currency of success has shifted from the passivity of clocking on and clocking off to the effective management of resources coupled with a strong sense of tenacity and commitment.
Having sensed this as part of the digitisation process, we find ourselves ready to deliver first class results and often with a modicum of time to spare, after all, no-one likes waiting.