Author Topic: Availability vs. Productivity In Job Roles  (Read 2260 times)

Schaefer Light

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Availability vs. Productivity In Job Roles
« on: December 02, 2016, 09:07:30 AM »
I've been pretty unhappy with my job for the past couple of years, and I could probably make a list a mile long of the things I dislike about it.  That being said, I've come to the realization that by far my biggest source of unhappiness is the feeling that I'm supposed to be available to do pretty much whatever I'm asked at a moment's notice (even on weekends and holidays).  This coupled with having to be physically present in the office from 8-5 leaves me feeling that no matter how productive I am or how much I accomplish, I can never really get away from the job. 

I think I've known since I was in school that I preferred being productive to being available, but somehow I wound up in a job where availability is valued far more than productivity.  I want to get things done, and have something I can say that I accomplished at the end of the day.  This job runs completely counter to my core values.  Nothing I ever do will be enough to satisfy the powers that be.  If my team fixes every problem that pops up within 15 minutes, someone's going to tell me we need to fix them in 10.

This type of shit drives me nuts.  I'm an efficient worker, and want to be able to get away from the job once my work is done.  If I had the option to work from home, I think my frustration level would be a bit lower since that would at least give me more freedom to do things during the day.  The simple fact that I'm expected to be able to get things done no matter what time it is or where I'm at is evidence that the job can be done remotely.

How about you all?  Do you find that you're being paid for your availability or are you paid to produce results?  Outside of sales, what types of jobs are more results-oriented?  I don't think I can handle having to be in the office all day and available by phone at all times much longer.  One or the other I could probably handle, but not both.

AZDude

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Re: Availability vs. Productivity In Job Roles
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2016, 10:43:49 AM »
First, understand your value and how much power you have over your employer. How easy would it be to replace you? How easy would it be to get another job? How good is your financial situation(ie: how much do you need this paycheck)?

Once you have realistic answers, then you can start having discussions with your employer about what you will and will not do going forward. Or you can start having discussions with other employers.

You clearly hate your job, so what are you prepared to do about it?

I have definitely been in that position before. I took a sizable pay cut to go somewhere else and have absolutely no regrets. In fact, I wake up often and smile knowing I never have venture into that place ever again.

mm1970

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Re: Availability vs. Productivity In Job Roles
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2016, 01:31:13 PM »
Right now I'm paid for results.  A little bit of availability.  I have regular meetings that I have to attend, that involve meeting remotely with Asia.  That requires me to be "on" when I'd rather be "off".

Prior to this, I had several years of working in, or managing, a 24/7 organization (manufacturing).  Though I wasn't thrilled with the calls at night and on weekends, I much preferred the work.

And as I have children, I was out the door same time every day.  In exchange, if something broke on the weekend, I usually fixed it.  Many others would be conveniently "out of town" on weekends, or they didn't answer their phones.  However, they were the ones to work late if shit broke at 5 pm.

If the amount of calls I got during "off" time wasn't regular, I wouldn't mind much.  A few hours a month on the weekend - fine.

spicykissa

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Re: Availability vs. Productivity In Job Roles
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2016, 05:55:23 PM »
This is probably not helpful, but situations like this are why I love being a nurse. I am 100% productive in my 13 hours at work (like, might not get a bathroom break, on my feet, saving lives productive). And then I leave. And my time is my time. If I get called, there are no recriminations if I don't answer, and extra money if I do.

What happens if you just don't answer the phone? My spouse is in more of an availability role, and I've tried to get him to try this to no avail. Seriously, what will they do if you just don't pick up? My guess is nothing. There was someone in his office who called out sick or took vacation 2 days/week and it took a full year for that slacker/genius to get fired.


ender

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Re: Availability vs. Productivity In Job Roles
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2016, 08:44:51 PM »
I've been pretty unhappy with my job for the past couple of years, and I could probably make a list a mile long of the things I dislike about it.  That being said, I've come to the realization that by far my biggest source of unhappiness is the feeling that I'm supposed to be available to do pretty much whatever I'm asked at a moment's notice (even on weekends and holidays).  This coupled with having to be physically present in the office from 8-5 leaves me feeling that no matter how productive I am or how much I accomplish, I can never really get away from the job. 

I think I've known since I was in school that I preferred being productive to being available, but somehow I wound up in a job where availability is valued far more than productivity.  I want to get things done, and have something I can say that I accomplished at the end of the day.  This job runs completely counter to my core values.  Nothing I ever do will be enough to satisfy the powers that be.  If my team fixes every problem that pops up within 15 minutes, someone's going to tell me we need to fix them in 10.

This type of shit drives me nuts.  I'm an efficient worker, and want to be able to get away from the job once my work is done.  If I had the option to work from home, I think my frustration level would be a bit lower since that would at least give me more freedom to do things during the day.  The simple fact that I'm expected to be able to get things done no matter what time it is or where I'm at is evidence that the job can be done remotely.

How about you all?  Do you find that you're being paid for your availability or are you paid to produce results?  Outside of sales, what types of jobs are more results-oriented?  I don't think I can handle having to be in the office all day and available by phone at all times much longer.  One or the other I could probably handle, but not both.

Why do you feel this way? Has someone ever explicitly told you that?

If you've got a lot of FU money and are already dissatisfied, just start doing what you want, if you frame it in ways that make it seem like a better bet for the company you may have success.

I flat out told a previous boss who wanted me to work sustained paid overtime that I'd gladly do it, but I expected my overall productivity to eventually level out.  He wasn't too thrilled but let me and we both won. I did probably more work and got to leave earlier.

Figure out who or what is actually making you feel that way. A lot of people feel pressure that isn't actually put on them.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Availability vs. Productivity In Job Roles
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2016, 10:14:34 AM »
First, understand your value and how much power you have over your employer. How easy would it be to replace you? How easy would it be to get another job? How good is your financial situation(ie: how much do you need this paycheck)?

Once you have realistic answers, then you can start having discussions with your employer about what you will and will not do going forward. Or you can start having discussions with other employers.

You clearly hate your job, so what are you prepared to do about it?

I have definitely been in that position before. I took a sizable pay cut to go somewhere else and have absolutely no regrets. In fact, I wake up often and smile knowing I never have venture into that place ever again.
Thanks for the reply.  I don't think it would be that difficult to replace me.  I'm a middle manager, and there have to be tons of experienced middle managers out there who could figure out how to do this job.  I'm not sure how easy getting another job would be.  Most job postings in my industry are targeted at specialists, and I'm more of a generalist.  My financial situation is good, but my wife and I could probably only go about a year without my income before we'd have to dip into retirement savings.  I certainly wouldn't want to quit without another job offer.

I guess I'm not sure what I'm prepared to do about my situation.  Sometimes I think looking for another job is a big waste of time because most of the positions I see posted I either a) don't qualify for, or b) think I would dislike just as much as my current position. 

I did interview for another position last year, and I believe I was one of their top candidates based on a follow-up call from the hiring manager.  However, I removed my name from consideration due to certain aspects of the job (having to relocate, no ability to work from home, having to work in a cubicle farm) that seemed very unpleasant to me.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Availability vs. Productivity In Job Roles
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2016, 10:20:07 AM »
Why do you feel this way? Has someone ever explicitly told you that?

If you've got a lot of FU money and are already dissatisfied, just start doing what you want, if you frame it in ways that make it seem like a better bet for the company you may have success.

I flat out told a previous boss who wanted me to work sustained paid overtime that I'd gladly do it, but I expected my overall productivity to eventually level out.  He wasn't too thrilled but let me and we both won. I did probably more work and got to leave earlier.

Figure out who or what is actually making you feel that way. A lot of people feel pressure that isn't actually put on them.
Thanks for the response.  You make some very good points.  I've never been explicitly told that I had to answer my phone at all times, but it certainly seems to be an implied expectation for people who are in this type of role.  I've always been afraid to ask my boss about this because it would bring the issue to the forefront and I'd definitely have some explaining to do if the expectation was that I'd be available and I didn't answer the next time I got a call.  Maybe I should try just ignoring my phone the next time work calls while I'm enjoying a vacation or weekend.  My guess is that the worst that would happen is a slap on the wrist and a conversation about expectations going forward.

aceyou

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Re: Availability vs. Productivity In Job Roles
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2016, 09:07:00 PM »
First, understand your value and how much power you have over your employer. How easy would it be to replace you? How easy would it be to get another job? How good is your financial situation(ie: how much do you need this paycheck)?

Once you have realistic answers, then you can start having discussions with your employer about what you will and will not do going forward. Or you can start having discussions with other employers.

You clearly hate your job, so what are you prepared to do about it?

I have definitely been in that position before. I took a sizable pay cut to go somewhere else and have absolutely no regrets. In fact, I wake up often and smile knowing I never have venture into that place ever again.
Thanks for the reply.  I don't think it would be that difficult to replace me.  I'm a middle manager, and there have to be tons of experienced middle managers out there who could figure out how to do this job.  I'm not sure how easy getting another job would be.  Most job postings in my industry are targeted at specialists, and I'm more of a generalist.  My financial situation is good, but my wife and I could probably only go about a year without my income before we'd have to dip into retirement savings.  I certainly wouldn't want to quit without another job offer.

I guess I'm not sure what I'm prepared to do about my situation.  Sometimes I think looking for another job is a big waste of time because most of the positions I see posted I either a) don't qualify for, or b) think I would dislike just as much as my current position. 

I did interview for another position last year, and I believe I was one of their top candidates based on a follow-up call from the hiring manager.  However, I removed my name from consideration due to certain aspects of the job (having to relocate, no ability to work from home, having to work in a cubicle farm) that seemed very unpleasant to me.

How can you get qualified to do a job that you would like, preferably while you are still working this job?  You are almost certainly talented enough to get just about any qualification, right?  And you have savings in the bank, plus retirement savings, so definitely a healthy amount of FU money. 

In the meantime, I think it'd be a great idea to find out what happens if you don't answer your phone on a weekend and to start creating boundaries for yourself.  Work life balance is important. 

Schaefer Light

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Re: Availability vs. Productivity In Job Roles
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2016, 06:07:51 AM »
How can you get qualified to do a job that you would like, preferably while you are still working this job?

I think this would be hugely beneficial.  Then I'd at least feel like I was working towards something and making progress.  I think the bigger issue is that I really don't know what kind of job I would like.  I need to figure that out first.  I find it much easier to describe the general characteristics I'm looking for in a job than it is to describe the type of work I'd like to do.

And thanks for the suggestion about creating boundaries and seeing what happens.  I am going to try that out.