If you’ve ever been in an organization that is very focused on butts-in-seats, you know the general listlessness of a waning Friday afternoon. Maybe you have a a few spurts of work, maybe someone has convinced you to be part of a meeting, but mostly you’re fucking around, draining down the hours. That’s because your mind is done, or, more precisely, your mind needs to be done with the work week. And yet, at least historically, companies have people in non-hourly jobs in offices as a means of 1) justifying their salary and 2) leveraging and maintaining control and power. Mandatory office time, in other words, as a cudgel to keep employees in line, because if they aren’t forced to be in the office, workers won’t work, or at least won’t work the way employers want them to.
At my new gig, leadership has recently implemented Focus Fridays, wherein everyone is discouraged from scheduling meetings between 1p and 5p on Fridays. It’s a new policy, so adoption is uneven, but it seems to be pretty well received.
On a side note, I spent my first Friday afternoon sifting through an enormous stack of resumes, looking for candidates for an open spot on my team. My main takeaway from this exercise is further confirmation that the entire system of posting, recruiting, and applying for jobs is pretty broken.