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My mentor, recently retired, had a rule for the office that everyone went home at 5. Every day at about ten of she would wander around and tell everybody to finish up what they were doing. She would let you stay after 5 if you had a reason, but when someone stayed after 5 too many times, she would take them aside and say, "I've given you too much work to do in too short a time. Let's figure out how to restructure the work so you can go home on time." She would shift deadlines, reduce the scope, bring in another person, or take on parts of the work herself. She always defended us to clients and took responsibility on herself. She also said, "Family comes first." No one needed to worry about a sick child - you were supposed to stay home. You were encouraged to go to weddings and funerals and graduations and other key family events. "Vacation" was not tracked. Take the days you need. As you can imagine we worked our hearts out for her. I've never worked in such a productive office before or since.
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Aug 17, 2012