E-mail Re: “Lack Of Commitment Outside Of Core Hours”

Extended Endurance Cube Concept

The office supply industry is hard at work making the concept of a 24 hour workday a reality.

This memo was written by a supervisor at a company that now outsources quite a bit of its work to India. The supervisor has since left the company, and bear in mind that his memo was written about 10 years ago, when the economy was good:


This is to follow up on the discussions I have had with many of you about some concerns and ideas I have for your respective teams.

Right now one of the biggest issues that MUST be addressed is our lack of commitment outside of core hours.

As you all know, we are no where close to meeting our goals for the Pursuit Group or for the company. 

I firmly believe that each of you have a duty and obligation to respond to this growing deficit in several ways, one of which includes working extended hours.

I have heard all the arguments against extended hours.

You should all know that I do not support or accept any of them.

As previously discussed with everyone, this is not a 9-5 job…. not even an 8-5.

It never will be.

Don’t get me wrong. I have noticed at least one person per unit going the extra mile, but I don’t think it is fair, nor will I allow it to stand to have the same people always carrying the extra weight.  None, some or all of this may apply to you.  I expect you to recognize where this applies to you and police yourself so we don’t have to…

So you are probably wondering…

Specifically how much time is enough?

1.)  Consider that you need to be here.  Excessive unplanned absences are unacceptable.  You each only have 4 sick days.  The option of taking unpaid sick days no longer exists because we had a few that abused it last year.  Vacations must be planned and approved by your team leader.

 2.)  Consider that being on time for work is 101.  We expect you to be here on time.  You can expect that we will hold you accountable for the same.

 3.)  Consider that the minimum mandatory core hours for a salaried employee is 40 hours per week per person…. also know that this alone is not an acceptable measure when we are short of our goals and we have work that is left to be done.  Just for starters, that means that you 9-5ers really should be on an 8-5 shift and 12-8 should be looking at 11-8 as minimum.

4.)  Consider that the amount of time should be based upon getting the work getting done.  For our team, that means asking yourself whether the Pursuit Group has exceeded its goals and has done everything it can to help the company acheive its goals?  Obviously, the answer is no, therefore you should be always asking and tasking yourself to help the team and the company pick up the slack.  I expect you to be doing your best.  You would be hard pressed to convince me that anything less than a 45-50 hour week sustained over any period of time in light of our current condition demonstrates anything more than a response to the minimum mandatory.  Such a limited response is unacceptable.  If you feel content that you have done your best with what is in front of you, you should be asking others around you what you can do to improve and what you can do to help.  You are part of a team and do not have the luxury of wiping your hands clean when others are struggling.  Obviously, I recognize the need for balance, but I have not seen anyone come close to working so much that they would compromise a balance in their lives.  If you feel you have to date, I would be quite interested in having a discussion with you.

 5.)  Consider that the time you spend here should be effective.  I have noticed at least one person per unit is not as focused on their work while they are here as they should be.  Here are some questions you to ask yourself (and respond appropriately)…. 

            Are you taking too many extended non-work, non-bathroom breaks away from your desk each day (more than 2 is too many)? 

            Are you taking too long (more than 10 minutes is too long)?

            Are you getting up from your desk during your workday and chatting with people in other units too much? (once or twice/day is probably too much)

            Do you send and/or receive an unreasonable number of personal emails?

            Do you EVER surf the net? (even once is too many)

            Do you make or send an unreasonable number or length of personal calls each day? (more than 3 for more than a couple minutes each day is probably too much)

            Are you carrying to many or long conversations with your coworkers at your pod?

            Are you focused on your work and making the best use of your time? 

            Are you sending letters, spinning diaries, performing work outside your work-stage when you could be making outbound calls?

            Are you doing anything in your work for “show” so you can run up your numbers when it does not make sense to do so?

                        (diaries, letters, calls, work not related to your work-stage)

 Given the timing of this email, I would only expect you to stay later tonight only if you already planned to do so or if you did not have plans.

After today, you should know that I have set forth an expectation to your Team Leaders that this be enforced without exception so please plan and respond accordingly.

If you have a question or concern see me first thing in the morning tomorrow.


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