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Flexible hours

Last year, I was invite to give a talk to grade six student on career day about my work. A student asked me what is the working hours like. I told him engineers work flexible hours. They don’t understand what’s flexible hours, so the teacher explained to them that I can come to work any time I like, go home any time I like and take breaks as much as I want. The idea of flexible hours seems novel to the students and they all say that’s cool. Then the teacher use the chance to teach them the importance of time management. Maybe I should tell the students, flexible hours is not cool in reality.

Flexible hours does not mean shorter hours, in fact it is often longer hours. Engineers’ work is project based, as long as we meet the dead line and show up in the meeting, to some extend we have the freedom of when and where to work. In other nine to five jobs, they have day in day out tasks. If you take a day off or have a sick day, someone have already covered your work for you. But in our job, if you take a day off, your tasks are still sitting there waiting for you come back and finish them. I end up working extra hours before my vacation so I can get all my the tasks out of my way. The only time I enjoy flexible hours is down time between projects. I can take the benefit of flexible hours by having a shorter work day if I don’t have much to do.

7 comments to Flexible hours

  • 彈性工時類似home office或freelance,後二者是我的目標。

    無錯,工時不一定會短,甚至會更長,例如我之前寫文,一星期只須寫三篇,但基本上要做足一星期,先是找資料,再構思,然後寫,周而復始,星期六日都要開工,交了稿,也不能休息,要時刻留意社會動態,很難放鬆腦袋。

    不過,我enjoy,因為我有自主權,寫到累,可以睡,或出去玩,返來再寫過,或一口氣連寫幾篇,以爭取未來數日可以稍事休息,一切都在我的掌握中。

    或許我以前是讀夜校出身,習慣了獨立自主,不喜終日坐在office,像坐監,完全無自由。

    • 香港地方細﹐home office有難度。如果屋企有自己間書房﹐做home office倒不錯。我地hi-tech的flex-hours﹐其實同普通打工無乜分別﹐不過多少少時間上的自由吧了。Freelance冇乜job security﹐除非做到好出名﹐人地排住隊搵你﹐ 如果做完一單要等下一單開飯﹐都幾愁。

  • 名氣的確重要,我不可能是陶傑,惟有分散投資,一兩份兼職,加一兩份freelance。

    其實,如果整日困在辦公室,真係省下好多時間,單是來回車程起碼超過兩個鐘,若懂得自律,兼善用時間,呢兩個鐘可以做到好多野。

    • 分散投資是好﹐可以要成功也要有破斧沉舟的決心。你有沒有聽過搞startup想成功﹐一定要辭掉正職全心去搞﹖你的情況是在搞個一人寫稿startup。專心博一舖﹐plan B咪最多叫淘勤力D囉。

  • 更正:如果「不用」整日困在辦公室……

  • startup?試過啦,以前讀夜校,不成功,便成仁,辛苦到不得了,堪稱startup中既經典,呢家野,試一次就夠,多試傷身。

    相反,我估你應該未試過由零開始、絕地反擊,拿,人一世,物一世,點都要試下,甘樣先至不枉此生,與其打死一世工,不如辭職,搞間電腦工程公司,自己做老闆,plan B最多米叫尊夫人勤力D law。

    • 我願可像蘇東坡說的那樣﹕“人皆養兒望聰明,我被聰明誤一生,但願我兒愚且魯,無災無難到公卿。”無災無難到公卿好過由零開始。

      我呢行做semi-conductor的capital investment太高﹐很難靠小聰明發圍。整一粒chips至少要一百萬美金資本﹐這只是工具和fab的價錢﹐還不計人工和市場開支﹐不似搞website可以幾個人砌掂佢。除非是Ph.D有個勁research﹐否則都幾難開新公司整chips。

      Plan B要等我老婆讀完個教師牌先﹐現在佢得最低工資﹐自己都養唔起。唔似淘高薪厚職。

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