Sunday, March 16, 2008

My six hours is your eight -- or, why my working hours are better than yours. :3

Snazzy title, eh?

So, just a few months ago I had someone quizzically ask me why I was only billing 30 hours a week -- while their salaried employees clocked a steady 9 to 5, 40hrs/wk. Wasn't I being unproductive by almost 10 hours less?!

Well, as the title states, that's because my six hour workday is equivalent to your office's eight hour workday.

Let's answer this question with some math.

First, your employees have lunch breaks, right? How long is that? 30-45 minutes?

So, really, right from jump your employees are only working 7:15 a day instead of 8.

But they clock in at 9 and leave at 5, right? If they're not overachievers (nothing wrong with you guys xD), that means they came in at 9:00AM and left at 5:00PM. So, how long did it take them to get up and running, getting setup, etc, etc? 5, 10 minutes? Likewise, they have to get ready before they go -- that's another 5, 10 minutes, to shut down their computers, clean up their desk, put away their things.

So, we're down to about 7 hours of work in an 8 hour workday.

Except it's not a straight 7 hours of work, is it?

Your workers take frequent breaks throughout the day. Sometimes they get up and go to the water cooler and talk for 5 or 10 minutes. Sometimes they just zone in-and-out throughout the day because you won't stop bothering them (stop bothering them, seriously, they'll do their TPS report later). What about when they take breaks to stretch and clear their head? Or when they need something from a co-worker that's busy with something else?

Before you know it, your fabled 8 hour workday is really 6 hours of work and 2 hours of interruptions, breaks, lunch, and snacks.

Now, consider 6 hours of work for a contractor -- 6 hours of uninterrupted work. Well, it is interrupted, by lunch, dinner, and assorted breaks, but we're not billing you for that, are we? I don't think you'd be too happy with seeing "LUNCH BREAK (BRK/LNCH)-- 1 HOUR" on your weekly invoice anyway.

When the invoice hits your inbox and it says your contractor "only" worked 6 hours a day (30hrs/wk remember?) that means we're working more-or-less the same amount of time your salaried employees do, except it probably cost you less.

So, there you go!

PS.
The numbers might be slightly exaggerated. That's because I'm terrible at math.