Working Hard or Hardly Working?

My entire life I have had a love for sports, the crack of a bat on a warm summer day, the pressure of a game winning free throw, the goal line stand in the 4th quarter, I love it all. I loved it so much that I knew I wanted to work in professional sports and went to Bowling Green to major in Sport Business. During my Freshman year myself and all of the aspiring General Managers of a professional sports team were told, like most Freshman, that you had to get an internship to start working your way up. I did just that and during the summer of my Freshman year I worked as an intern for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in their Facility Management team. If you’ve never worked in Minor League baseball you should know that the full time staff and you as interns are the entire staff and it’s all hands on deck. The people that I worked with and the experience I had was awesome but there is one thing that I didn’t understand then and I still don’t understand now. We reported every day at 8am regardless of the game time, why did we do this? Were we able to be our best when we truly needed to be? Did we confuse working long hours as being productive and achieving results?

The urgency and suddenness of 2020 and COVID forced a lot of businesses to go where they feared to go, remote. Conferences were suddenly on Zoom, kitchens became board rooms, business leaders of fortune 500 companies were suddenly on Zoom with their dog barking in the background and guess what? Businesses survived and in a lot of cases actually thrived, at least in the long term. The effect on employees should have been a positive too, people were able to sleep longer, care for their families better, eat healthier, save hours on commutes, and most importantly in a lot of cases, they were able to be more productive for their companies. For some reason a lot of businesses are retreating back to the way things have always been done and I believe it will be the downfall of those businesses, we found a smarter way to live and work, why wouldn’t we take advantage of it?

The best companies will leverage remote work, unlimited PTO, technology, and flexible schedules. The great companies will create or enhance key performance indicators and value this versus hours worked. The great companies will be able to attract the best talent in the world because they will be able to recruit and work from anywhere. We will applaud productivity and results versus the person sending emails at 1am. The best companies will focus on the overall well being and mental state of their employees, knowing that you hired them to preform at their highest level and to do that you must be physically and mentally fresh.

I hope that we only go forward in this new way to work, stop rewarding ourselves for “grinding” without results, and stop coming in at 8am because that is what we always do.

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Paul Conley

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