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What Is Your Hourly Worth?

What Is Your Hourly Worth?

I first came across the principle of Hourly Worth (HW) in a seminar in 2013 led by global time management guru Brian Tracy, whom I regard as an important teacher, mentor, and friend in my journey as a trainer and coach. He was so kind to endorse my book, Million Dollar Second.

HW is arrived at by dividing your yearly income by the total number of hours you work in a year (Tracy approximates it at 2,000 hours). So, you write down the time you spend at work in a given year minus the holidays and arrive at the total hours. If it is x dollars per hour and you decide to arrive at a better HW, say y dollars per hour.

You either find ways of being better paid for the same hours or reduce the number of hours of work or do both. When I thought about this wonderful tool, I realized it was the beginning of a conversation that had immense value to offer every leader as much as it did to each person the leader was responsible for.

The scope of HW in any conversation on people at work is immense. Let’s consider just one here; the daily commute impact on HW. 

For instance, any honest evaluation of an employee’s HW from an HR or L&D leader’s perspective must include the hours lost in the daily commute, and the inconvenience caused by it. It must also consider the suffering (which is qualitative but can be measured on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest level of inconvenience) that three to four hours of commuting in a normal working day have on the personal, familial, social and professional life of the employee. 

The sufferings of daily commuters to a business district are exacerbated by the fact that traffic flows overwhelmingly in one direction during the rush hours

Now, an employee may not consciously process his HW with such clarity, but the hours lost in overcrowded public transport are nobody’s gain. Seen in perspective, this wastes over ten working days per month in cities like Mumbai. 

What this speaks of is the gap between HW seen from the employee’s perspective and the same person’s HW perceived by an organization’s leaders who could be disinclined to take the HW discussion beyond the eight hours they are legally/ professionally responsible for. 

However, any initiative by an organization that improves the HW from the employee’s perspective is bound to positively impact work efficiency, job satisfaction, attrition, and the overall culture of the organization. 

Examples of how this can be done include the provision of transportation by the company, changing work hours so that employees travel before/ after rush hour, group housing solutions closer to work, instituting longer hours at work in exchange for fewer workdays, and shifting to a work-from-home (WFH) model, etc.

While surviving through the COVID-19 Pandemic, we were in a way compelled to adopt the Work-From-Home culture due to prolonged Lockdowns across the Globe. In a span of a few months, many MNC’s saw the difference and the impact this shift brought along, which made way for official announcements to extend this WFH model even after the lockdown was lifted. The recent idea from Tata Steel pf ‘Work from Anywhere’ makes me think of innovations that are likely to emerge in the near future and stay even after the effects of COVID 19 fade away.

Start calculating your Hourly Worth and take the first step towards making every second of your life count for what it’s worth!  Application of this seemingly simple idea has changed some people’s lives. See what it did to Jogesh Jain, my TTST Alumni and mentee, who has emerged as India’s #1 Employability Coach.

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