Do office hours apply to social media professionals?

I wrote before Christmas about a quick poll of social media and community managers conducted on LinkedIn, asking them whether they planned to log-on to their communities over Christmas, a time when most people are relaxing and generally doing their best to think about anything but work.  It turns out that around 80% planned to do just that.

So it's interesting to read this week about some new legislation emerging from Brazil suggesting that people answering work emails outside of work hours should be allowed to charge overtime for this.  All of which begs the question of how this applies to social media folk?  I suspect I'm in good company here, but office hours don't really apply to social media work.  The beauty of social media is that you can get responses from people instantly and the notion of office hours doesn't really apply.

Last year I interviewed Alison Maitland and Peter Thomson for Professional Manager magazine.  They are the authors of a book on the Future of Work.  A central theme of the interview was that our perspective of work needs to undertake a fundamental shift away from what we input and towards what we output.

In such a world office hours become irrelevant.  It no longer matters how long you work.  It no longer matters where you work.  All that matters is that you achieve the outputs that you're being paid to produce.  So for social media people you shouldn't expect to get more money if you put in more hours, you should expect more money if you smash your targets.

If you're struggling to identify your social media ROI then this post may provide some help.


2 thoughts on “Do office hours apply to social media professionals?

  1. I can't see how social media work can ever be 9-5 so it certainly makes sense to have a much more flexible approach to work hours and rely more on results than hours worked. Of course it could take some time for employers to come around to this.

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