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what do you think?

Karen D. Alfrey alfrey at rice.edu
Wed May 5 18:30:46 EST 1999

In article <01be92d6$9e0c1080$0c04400c at unknownu>, HoneyCarmel at worldnet.att.net 
(HoneyCarmel) writes:
|> I like your question. I think that is the view of the old world. Today,
|> employers do not offer job security and I don't understand why they still
|> expect employees to stay ridiculous type of hours. The generation X way to
|> work is proven to be more productive anyway. 

Well, sure, it's easy to conclude from simple logic that the hours you work 
are most productive if you only work when you're being productive, but 
translating that into a useful work policy is a little more challenging.  My 
own tendency, left to my own devices, is to work in the middle of the night 
when there are fewer distractions, and sleep 'til at least noon.  I also 
prefer working at home when I can, especially when I'm running lots of long 
simulations -- makes it easier to alternate brain-intensive activity like 
analyzing simulation results and writing paper sections with mindless-but-
necessary evils like laundry.  My advisor, on the other hand, likes for me 
to be in the office most of the day so he can call meetings with me when he 
gets a few spare minutes, and -- more importantly these days now that I'm by 
far the most senior grad student in the group -- so I can answer other students' 
research questions when he's not around.  

I guess the lesson here is, picking your own hours and working on your own is
great when both your and your boss's primary goal is for you to finish your
project -- but when you add in other workday goals like going to meetings and
"team building", it becomes clear why work schedules got so out of hand in the
first place....  And the thing is, I know when I'm in my advisor's position,
I'll want to see my students in the office each day sharing ideas and getting
the most from the academic experience -- even though I know my own work history
has leaned more toward locking myself in a room by myself and thinking.

Are you referring to specific studies when you say the "generation X way" is
"proven" more effective?  If you can cite specific references, I'd be interested
in checking them out....

Karen Alfrey
alfrey at rice.edu

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