Last week was National Work-Life Week 2012. Embedded within in it on Wednesday was the inspired ‘Go Home on Time Day’.
The information for employers is clear: “Lots of extra publicity around to support the day, so make sure your organisation is geared up to join in the national campaign. Go Home on Time Day 2012 is sponsored by Bisto.”
Not that I’m saying there’s an ulterior motive or anything.
Here are some of the suggestions to employers to enable them to prepare for the momentous occasion of allowing their staff home on time one day in 2012:
- Let people know the organisation is supporting Go Home on Time Day – put it on organisational calendars, newsletters etc.
- Encourage people to avoid planning meetings or activities that will start within an hour of finish time, especially things that typically run over. Keeping that hour free allows for an orderly finish to the day, helping people feel more in control.
- Encourage people to avoid planning out-of-office meetings that will keep them far from home at finish time.
- Consider banning all business travel that day.
- Designate or consult on a common finish time that day – warn that there will be a lock out or lights off time.
- Let suppliers know you are participating – no last minute orders or deliveries.
- Let customers know you are participating and why - make arrangements for any emergency out-of-hours contact if circumstances demand.
I wondered if they’d gone far enough. Here’s a few of my own suggestions for employers I might submit next time:
- Inform your accountant that you are participating in Go Home on Time Day and there may be imminent bankruptcy.
- The economy may spiral out of control and lead us into an apocalyptic nightmare. If this occurs then the basics will keep you and your staff alive: shelter, purified water, food and some kind of weapon to defend yourselves in the event of looting. Pre-order basics like bottled water and bread and tins of beans and gravy granules (see sponsor). Don’t forget a can opener and a camping stove.
Okay, maybe I’m going a little far, but it does read as though having your staff leave work on time is akin to organising the Normandy landings. It’s not Operation Overlord but clearly it’s Operation Overtime. My favourite suggestion is “consider banning business travel that day”. Really? Business travel might have to be banned because staff are leaving on time?
Do they think it stacks up as anything but a publicity stunt with the extra bonus that employers get to spell out to employees that leaving on time is not sustainable in business in the long term?
They need to wake up and smell the gravy.