Thursday, December 16, 2010

When the Cat’s Away…

You know what comes after “When the cat’s away….” “The mice will play.”

Those who are gainfully employed have a boss, manager or supervisor to keep them on track. Fear of losing your job, not getting promoted or receiving a bad performance review can be a great motivator. There are consequences for showing up late, not completing assignments or meeting goals on deadline.

But what happens when the boss is on vacation or at an out of town conference? Does every worker bee slave away just as diligently, or take longer lunches, spend more time surfing the ‘net and/or leave early? How can management ensure that employees are working to their full capacity?

Telecommuters present another challenge to productivity. A company I worked for wanted us to report what we were doing in 15 minute increments. You can imagine how long that lasted. Others require weekly status reports. Lawyers (and others) use software to keep track of time they can bill to clients. But how do bosses and clients know the bills or reports are completely accurate?

Some workers simply have more drive to stay on task no matter the distraction or opportunity not to. I believe the more people respect their bosses or those who are in charge, the less likely they are to goof off. Conversely, the less they trust those who tell them what to do, the more likely they are to play as much as they can get away with. To do the bare minimum to keep their jobs.

The Gainfully Unemployed are both cat and mouse. It’s up to us to keep ourselves moving forward. Especially at this time of year, when gigs in most industries dry up (though I did have an audition this morning).  Also, there are those holiday chores to complete.  So many parties where one could overindulge, which can make it difficult to start the next day off right. 

I could slack off from now until the second week in January. Instead, I’m choosing to make a list of projects to complete. Most aren’t immediately income producing, but will prepare me to meet the new year ready to go and to earn.  I'll make time for plenty of fun and frolic, but won't let these weeks get away from me. What will you do?

1 comment:

EilisFlynn said...

The Gainfully Unemployed are some of the bravest people I know. I envy that much optimism and fortitude!