On Corporate Rigidity and Efficiency

June 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

Efficiency is something that corporate America values.

Values? No, fuck that. It thrives off of efficiency. The problem is that the corporate world’s view of “efficiency” is vastly differently from what the textbook definition of the term entails.

The next time you’re sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on the way home from work, thank corporate America. The modern American 9-5 schedule is a direct result of an inefficient and untenable corporate system which rewards reliability and monotony over real innovation and efficiency. Instead of embracing the concept of efficiency, most major American companies emphasize the phrase itself. Being “efficient” sounds great. I work 40 hours a week. I’m “efficient”. However, of the millions of people who work 9-5 jobs, just how many of them are actually putting in 40 hours of honest work every week?

This isn’t a call to arms for middle management and bored state bureaucrats to push their corporate cattle to work harder. Rather, it may be time that many major companies started to look toward more interesting (and…efficient) methods of employing some of their most valued resources. I won’t pretend to know what the magic number of hours or days per week is. Every industry and every position is unique. Some have taken a stab, but it’s much too complex of an issue for there to be one answer.

A glimpse of the future can be found in any number of new companies, almost all of which are in the tech industry. Tech start ups give a level of flexibility to employees (and shareholders) that hasn’t existed since the dawn of the American corporate age. As the tech industry spreads to other industries (ahem..automation), they too will become more dependent on a work force which not only doesn’t need to be on site from 9 to 5, but will expect otherwise.

In the mean time, the best thing to do if you find yourself in a field which isn’t subject to these changes quite yet is to learn a skill set which may one day assist you in transitioning into a more independent lifestyle. Whether your goal is to one day create your own start-up or become an independent contractor/freelance, the important thing is to learn as much as you can from your current position. Introduce yourself to as much as possible and gain as much as you can. Because say what you will about large corporations, they certainly offer a large cluster of expertise and experience which can’t be found in many other places. Take advantage of your situation, even if it isn’t ideal.

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