Productivity Analysis - Real Talk
Corporations across the world are struggling with the following decision: When the pandemic abates, should they send their employees back into the office? As we speak, tens of thousands of overpaid, charlatan consultants are researching whether “knowledge workers” are more productive virtually or in the office. The Mr. Jamoke publication has its own thoughts on the matter. Below we cut through the noise and give insight beyond what any consultant would ever generate.
Efficiencies gained by working at home:
1) Significantly less time and energy devoted to poop planning. If you are one of those people that is ready to poo at any place at any time with no hesitation, more power to you. However, many of us (especially men) desperately seek a suitable environment. We try and avoid the 10 AM post-morning coffee rush hour or god forbid the 130 PM post-lunch rush hour. We sometimes explore far and away bathrooms that may have dimmer lighting, more white noise, or just generally allow us to better preserve our modesty. All in all, I would argue that for most people, at least 10% of their brainpower on any given day in the office is spent on poop planning. Not to be overlooked is the chance of encountering a turd-burglar or some lunatic who starts talking to you from the neighboring stall. The PTSD stemming from such catastrophic events can shake you to your core and render you feckless for the rest of the day.
2) Ability to blatantly tune out and focus on something more valuable. Here is an example: One of my primary stakeholders on this project speaks at a rate of 65 words per minute. How do I know this? I clocked him. I used a stopwatch to time this guy 10 times and compute an average. For your reference, normal people speak at about 130 words per minute. Try it out. Write down a few random thoughts on a page and read them aloud at a rate of just over one word per second. Make sure your wife or husband isn’t around for this experiment because they will surely assume that you’re having a massive stroke and call an ambulance. Yet, every morning at 8 AM this jackass (not a stroke survivor I assure you) tries to waste my time and enrage me with his drip drip drip of computer system jibber jabber. Fuck this guy. Thank goodness that these are virtual meetings and I never turn my camera on, I just kick my feet up on the desk and read my freshly delivered copy of the Wall Street Journal. If we were in an office setting, I would actually have to look at this guy as he talks and fight the urge to quote the great Billy Madison: “T-T-T-Today! Junior!!!”
3) Naps. I take at least 3 a week after lunch. I find my work so dramatically uninteresting that I fatigue easily. A nice, relaxing 30 minutes and then I pop back up ready for a productive afternoon. Sounds unprofessional but the alternative is far worse. Have you observed your colleagues between the hours of 1-2 PM? Half of them look concussed and the other half just shamelessly fiddle with their phones.
Efficiencies lost by working at home:
1) Dress Code. You all may have started this work from home phenomena wearing a polo shirt and khakis but by now you’re sporting pajama pants and a t-shirt. You smell like an orangutan until your 5 PM shower and your elastic waistband subconsciously ensures that you never give more than 30% effort in any endeavor. For men, said waistband also makes it extremely easy and oh so tempting to scratch your balls. Dress like a slob, work like a slob. There is a reason why, for decades, men had to tuck their shirts in and wear a garment that basically strangles us. The light strangulation keeps one on edge and the layers upon layers of fabric between hand and scrotum are in everyone’s best interest.
2) Kid and Pet Interference. My little dog Ace whines at me every morning unless he is within 18 inches of me. He is relentless. I finally had a MacGyver moment and created a little throne for him, and he now sits next to me quietly as I work / read the newspaper. I take the other dog to the dog park around lunch so she gases out, otherwise she spends the entire afternoon grabbing stray tennis balls around the house and throwing them at my ankles. Now that I think about it, maybe the dogs aren’t seeking entertainment from me. Rather, they probably hear various losers talking nonsense through the computer speaker and THEY are trying to entertain ME – a canine act of mercy. I can’t even fathom how you folks with kids get anything done. Hats off to you
The consultants will talk about commutes, collaboration, networking, company culture, the costs of securing a remote workforce, blah blah blah. These pencil-necks don’t have a clue and neither do these corporate CEOs who squander millions hiring them. What’s the difference between these high paid consultants and Mr. Jamoke? Very little. We’re all just a bunch of douchebags in pajamas scratching our balls and writing nonsense. One key nuance though: This blog gives you the raw real-talk. In the words of the immortal Al Bundy: “I played High School football, I know the score.”