The Eagle Blog

While the Cat is Away

Well … this cat is heading away for a week’s vacation and I am not planning to do any blogging during that time.

Heading on vacation raises the issue that all managers, (and business owners), have when they are going to be away. How will my people react? There are various reactions that are possible. Will they self-regulate and be as productive as usual? Will they take the opportunity to “goof off” and relax a bit because the boss isn’t around? Will they take the opportunity to demonstrate that they can be very productive, without the boss around?

My experience in all my years in business is that people typically take advantage of the situation to slack off a bit.

Obviously it would be fantastic if they were to just grab the opportunity and demonstrate their ability to be productive even when no-one is watching. The benefit that they get is a higher level of trust, and the likelihood that management will give even more autonomy, but that is rare.

It will be interesting to see how productive the company has been when we get back … but for now I’m looking forward to sun, sand and relaxation! See you in a week!


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4 thoughts on “While the Cat is Away

  1. I think when the cats away we run into the Push and Paws. I tend to work harder for longer streches because I want to self regulate and I really like my job (the work part not the job part) At the same time I pause for longer periods. I chat up my coworkers and take a come up for air breath. In my place of work the boss has even institued “stay at home” days where we work remote. On these days most of use get more done because we push and pause at our own rate.
    Mearly in the chair head down does not mean working to 100%

    I guess what is important is the question, “will the culture I’ve built sustain my absence” If you’re gone for a week and you employees slack off (and you can only judge this based on their results not their chair time) then think of it not as disloyalty, but as a team building retreat that they all went on. Except you stayed in the “camp”. On the whole a much better deal were I the one going to the sun.

  2. I think when the cats away we run into the Push and Paws. I tend to work harder for longer streches because I want to self regulate and I really like my job (the work part not the job part) At the same time I pause for longer periods. I chat up my coworkers and take a come up for air breath. In my place of work the boss has even institued “stay at home” days where we work remote. On these days most of use get more done because we push and pause at our own rate.
    Mearly in the chair head down does not mean working to 100%

    I guess what is important is the question, “will the culture I’ve built sustain my absence” If you’re gone for a week and you employees slack off (and you can only judge this based on their results not their chair time) then think of it not as disloyalty, but as a team building retreat that they all went on. Except you stayed in the “camp”. On the whole a much better deal were I the one going to the sun.

  3. I’m a big fan of measuring people by their outputs rather than the amount of hours they spend in the office.

    Having said that there are expectations in any company for employees to be actually at work.

    As for the employees enjoying a break while the boss is “in the sun”, I think the time for employees, or bosses, to take a break is when they are on vacation … not when someone else is on vacation.

  4. I’m a big fan of measuring people by their outputs rather than the amount of hours they spend in the office.

    Having said that there are expectations in any company for employees to be actually at work.

    As for the employees enjoying a break while the boss is “in the sun”, I think the time for employees, or bosses, to take a break is when they are on vacation … not when someone else is on vacation.

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