Old Dog New Tricks

On my mind now

3 March 2016 | 0 Comments

I attended a talk yesterday where the topic of work culture was discussed briefly and that the developments in certain countries, Sweden in particular which have adopted the 6-work hours per day came to light.

This then flashed a memory in me, when I was running the operations of a company here previously where we did the same. Our working hours were from 10am to 4.30pm, so it was six and a half hours a day. Take away the half hour for lunch break, it would leave six hours exactly. (By the way, I came in at 10.30am and took 45-minutes for lunch, but then who was counting?)

We also developed a work schedule where we determined what was done on a given day well ahead of time.

For example, on the first day of the new month, we would process all money matters – especially outbound monies to our paid commissioned agents, suppliers, royalties, and all payments such as rental, utilities, groceries for pantry, staff salaries and expense claims.

This included payment of scheduled tax payable and all other statutory body payments.

By 1pm, just before we break for lunch, all payments are processed. I must say, people were happy. By that time we roughly know how much money we have left in the bank!

On a given day, we also plan for what is done at certain times, like processing of new client payments was done daily from 2pm to 3.30pm.

On certain days of a week, we will prepare our newsletter and gather contents from our branches to produce a newsletter which had close to 3,000 readers subscribed directly and another 2,000 readers via Facebook.

The problem with this? We appeared to be very free! It appeared that we were not working. This was perplexing.

Then walks in the owner of the company who then questioned us, as to why I decided to start office at 10am and why not 8.30am like all other dickens do? And why not take the full hour for lunch, apparently the lunch break will be good for our minds?

But then this model is very outdated. Old School, I might add.

I don’t believe in waiting for work and assignments, rather we just schedule all routine tasks in advance and get them done well ahead of time, much to the delight of our partners, agents, suppliers.

So, I just looked at results. A lean and mean workforce of myself and a personal assistant was good enough for gearing up company earnings up to 38% of gross profit.

Fast forward – this approach was criticized. Both my personal assistant and I eventually left the company to the owner’s own devices to run. After all, it is not my business and I have no ownership in it. So just got to accept the fact. Not a battle I wanted to take on.

But I now look forward implementing this task based work systems, SOPs and schedules, in any small to medium company.

It is said, you can’t teach an old dog, new tricks. I agree totally, so let’s find a new dog!


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