The 40 Hour Work Week Is Sapping Your Best Employees. There’s A Better Way.

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Create a highly abstract image that symbolizes the concept of imprisonment within the cycle of a traditional 9-5 office job. Focus on depicting the sense of being trapped in a repetitive loop, with elements that suggest a struggle against constraints and the yearning for freedom from the arbitrary demands of time-based work. Use geometric shapes, contrasting colors, and swirling patterns to convey the feeling of entrapment and the cyclic nature of the daily grind, while also hinting at the potential for breaking free. The image should evoke a sense of both the confinement experienced and the inherent desire to escape to a more meaningful and liberated way of working.

When I first started my career, I worked in your typical 9-5 job. I loved the work, but hated the hours. I have always worked fast, burned hot, and usually get a full days worth of work completed in much less time than most. The problem was, working 8 hours has always been impossible for me. As a result, most days I would find myself sitting there in the office, staring at my screen, waiting for 5:00 to roll around.

Day after day, I found myself caught in a punishing cycle, forced to pretend to look busy in an office where productivity was not measured by output but by hours clocked. My work was fulfilling, but the requirement to sit through the day, even after completing my tasks, left me drained and disillusioned. The arbitrary rule that demanded my presence until the clock struck five felt less like a job requirement and more like a sentence, where the effort to appear engaged battled with the exhaustion of actual work.

This constant act of pretense, coupled with the guilt of "taking advantage" of my employer's time, only amplified my fatigue, turning what should have been restorative downtime into hours of aimless anxiety and boredom.

This draining routine spiraled into a negative feedback loop; the enforced idleness at work sapped my energy, leaving me with nothing to offer by the day's end. It became immensely difficult for me to contribute in any meaningful way at home, because I simply had nothing left to give by the time I got back. The guilt from this lack of presence at home only deepened my exhaustion, effectively ensuring that my evenings were spent not in meaningful engagement with loved ones but in a desperate attempt to recharge for another day of the same futile cycle.

The consequence was a life where both work and home became spaces of depletion rather than fulfillment, highlighting a profound disconnect between the effort expended and the value created.

Over time, and lots of reading a lot of nonfiction, I came to understand that what I'm experiencing is a very normal thing, and I'm certainly not alone. I found myself dreaming of a better way to approach work - especially creative work - for myself, and for others, as well.

For me, it always came down to one simple question - Why do most companies demand 40 hours of our time, when what we do isn't measured in hours?

The cycle I've described isn't just my own; it's a silent battle fought daily by the most efficient and dedicated employees, trapped within the confines of an outdated hourly demand. This relentless pursuit of busywork, born from the need to fill arbitrary time quotas, not only drains their spirit but also diminishes their potential contributions.

Each hour they're forced to pretend, to stretch out their productivity in a performance of engagement, is an hour where their true capabilities are squandered.

Redefining Success

As employers, when you cling to this rigid structure of measuring productivity by time spent rather than by results achieved, you're not safeguarding your interests. Instead, you risk losing your brightest and most motivated workers—those who can deliver exceptional results in half the time but are left feeling undervalued and misunderstood.

I think we can redefine success in the workplace. By shifting from an exclusively hourly model to one that values efficiency and outcome, you not only liberate your employees from the demoralizing cycle of feigned busyness but also transform your organization into a beacon of innovation and genuine productivity.

It's time to ask ourselves—what are we truly measuring, and what do we truly value? The answer can mean the difference between retaining a workforce that is engaged, energized, and eager to contribute, versus one that is merely watching the clock, waiting for the day to end. Let's choose a path that honors the talents and time of our employees, fostering an environment where work is measured by impact, not hours.

I believe there's a better way.

  • What if instead of paying someone based on the time they spend on a task, we rewarded them for efficiency?
  • What if instead of forcing our best employees to sit around, bored, yet too tired to finish work, we encourage them go home when they did what they set out to do for that day?
  • What if we empowered our employees to do their work, close their laptop, and get the hell out and do something else, instead?
  • Imagine how amazing it would be to just pay someone for their performance instead of paying them for their time.

That's why I'm creating Siren. I believe that everyone should have the freedom to work when they want, and how they want, so-long as they do the things they said they were going to do.

Introducing Siren

Siren makes it easy for any company, small or large, to create, and maintain pay for performance programs. This empowers businesses to ensure they're getting exactly what they're paying for, and motivates the people they're contracting with to do their task efficiently. It gives the contractors clarity on what success looks like, since its ingrained in the system itself, which allows them to focus on what actually drive the desired results.

  • Pay influencers and bloggers a percentage of sales using an affiliate link.
  • Pay salespeople a percentage of a sale when they close the deal.
  • Pay writers based on the content the publish, and the amount of sales their content drives
  • Pay course creators a share of the profits, based on the number of members who used their course that month.
  • Pay support personnel a each-time they meaningfully update documentation, get positive feedback, or upsell an existing customer.
  • Pay developers each time they merge a pull request, depending on the difficulty of the task.

Siren does this by requiring a few details of a program, such as how people are paid, and how you'll track their progress and performance. It will support several different ways to track success, and can handle many different ways to determine compensation, such as:

  1. Dividing a payout evenly among participants.
  2. Dividing a payout percentage, where the amount paid to each person is based on their individual performance.
  3. Paying one, or many people based on a score
  4. Paying one, or many people a fixed amount

Once this is set up and published, companies can find the people who are a good fit for this program, register them in the program, and then start providing them with the work. Once the promised "thing" is completed, an obligation is created in Siren that reflects the value of what was done.

Get Early Access

Siren is scheduled to launch later this year. If you want to learn more, or want to get exclusive access to the pre-launch visit Siren's website here.