Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Panda Bear on Short Days, and Flex Time

The Panda Bear is at Starbucks working on her Panda Bear Blog.   She had hopped that with her new cat she would be able to work at home.   However, she is one of many people who has a hard time staying  awake when she gets home when it is dark outside.    Right now it is 5:46 pm and it is pitch black.   She can't wait for the longer days.    The Panda Bear usually finds it noticeable in March that the days are longer.

In part because of the holidays, the Panda Bear's schedule has totally collapsed.   She has fallen behind in her blogging, reading, contact with friends, relaxation practices and exercise.   The Panda Bear is looking forward to getting back to her routines

As stated in last weeks post, it was business as usual in the work place.   The Panda Bear had taken some time off from work but it was not easy to get.   The big news at the Panda Bear's work place is that they are putting in time-keeping systems for the hourly workers because her company lost a law suit that complained that people were forced to work unpaid overtime.   So now the hourly workers are going to be made to record all time worked.    It is probably caused some anguish among hourly workers because it is going to be made clear at work who is an hourly and who is an exempt office worker.

The Panda Bear is an hourly office worker which means she is supposed to get paid for overtime and she works set hours as opposed to exempt workers who are not paid for overtime but have more flexibility about their work hours.   The Panda Bear would love to work longer days and have more free time(i.e working  four ten hour days as opposed to five eight hour days).   She thinks the standard eight hour day for some kinds of work is not the most efficient for people either personally or professionally,.    According to this article in Inc, on work productivity, to do eight hours of work during the day it really takes 9.5 to to 10 hours because of needed breaks.     Also people who do certain kinds of work will be working in 60-90 minute increments.   It is hard to stop work at a certain fixed time.

However, what the Panda Bear resents most about being an hourly worker is that a worker can sometimes be doing extra work on his/her own time but the employer does not give anything back to the worker in terms of additional time off.     The Panda Bear feels new the time keeping systems will probably stop workers from working unpaid extra and make employees more assertive about not doing work off the clock.   The Panda Bear has heard from workers who are on the time clock those "few" additional work tasks that one does "off the clock" can involve a fair amount of money for the employee if the employer is required to pay for it.

The Panda Bear things that some objections to flextime and flexible work hours are that it is hard for supervisors to keep track of employees time.   The Panda Bear hopes with improved technology for time tracking employers will allow eligible hourly employees more flexible schedules.

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