The Right Time
People are different. They are meant to be different. Thank god because it would be quite dull if everyone was the same. Preferences, choices, likes, dislikes extend in infinite areas and this includes the time when people feel most productive. Some people are night owls and feel most productive at night while some (or maybe most) think that mornings are better. Even mornings are subjective as there are those who wake up even before the sun rises. As I type this blog post, the time is 1:49 AM, I am clearly in the night owl category! Well, this is an aberration but I certainly have never enjoyed waking up very early. I always say that there is a difference between 4 in the morning and 4 in the night. The former is when you have slept the previous night and awoken at 4 AM and the latter is when you have not slept at all and stayed up till 4.
I noticed the different productive hours of people during my college days. In the days preceding the exams (let’s not count the day just before it) some of my friends preferred to wake up at 6 AM to study and some stayed up till 2 AM and woke up late the next morning. One of my best friends used to sleep around 9 PM and wake up at 2 AM to study. On many occasions we exchanged “Good Morning – Good Night” texts. But each to his own and definitely let’s not go into the exam results!
As I entered work life, I observed that it is not different here. Working 8 hours a day isn’t always the preferred. Some of my colleagues preferred coming to office at 9 in the morning while some came in at 11. Some stayed late and became more productive during the latter part of the day. Of course when you are older, there are other factors which come into play like traffic, means of transport, family etc. But the fact remains that people perform their best at different times.
However, when you’re working in a team you can’t really dictate your own time and work efficiently. It’s extremely hard to collaborate if half the team is starting work at 9 AM and the other at noon. So do you need to have rigid timings? Not really. You need to be together for a reasonable number of hours so the overhead of communication is reduced. Generally, a team adapts to a certain routine and timings according to the kind of work and mutual understanding.
I have been lucky to have worked in organizations with a ‘real’ flexible time policy. I shudder to think of working where there is a rigid time policy. But I have also seen a fair share of arguments over the flexi-time policy to realize that it’s not perfect. You need to keep some things in mind while enjoying the freedom of flexi- time:-
- Work comes first – If you have an important call in the morning, you have to start your day early even if you’re a night owl
- Collaboration matters – You need to ensure that the whole team is together for a reasonable amount of time so information can be shared easily
- Be productive – This is the main reason why you have been given this freedom. Try to maximise your productivity and be in the zone.
A recent survey showed that 37% participants preferred a 9 – 6 timing and 27% preferred a completely flexible time policy. While the preference for a fixed time policy is high, the trend for flexi-time has kept on increasing through the years. Employers need to acknowledge this fact and adapt accordingly. The time is NOW!