A Day in the Office

Many office workers have their own ‘typical’ day in the office. Here is what happened to me today.


The company I work for has a flexible working arrangement. Basically all employees are expected to work 7.5 hours per day anytime between 7am to 7pm. In real life, this is loosely monitored; as far as you get things done, how much time you spend at work is less important. I’m more of a morning person so I arrive early to avoid the morning traffic.

I spent the first 30 minutes checking news. I know this doesn’t sound very professional, but knowing what’s happening in the world is important, especially given the company I work for tends to have media appearance on a weekly basis (mostly negative).

8:30 – 10:30

Project time. One project I am working on is to design a new website for my business division. This morning I spent about 2 hours drafting designs for 4 web pages. The thing that took the most of time is to find images that go onto the website. The organisation has a set of accessibility and copyright standards that must be met and my director has very unique taste in imagery.

10:30 – 12:00

Team meeting. Meetings are often scheduled from 10am onwards because team members are not necessarily in the same geographic location; those reside in a different state may be in another time zone. We don’t really want to force anyone to start before 9am, even though many people do start early.

The meeting is a videoconference. Someone presented a piece of work and the others provide feedback. It’s one of those brainstorming session aiming at developing creative ideas to please stakeholders. Yes, they sign off on our project.

12:00 – 12:30

Lunch. Nothing special. People takes between 15 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on how hungry they are.

12:30 – 15:00

Project time, again. Another project I am working on is to develop a competency assessment tool. Learners can use this tool to assess their existing level of competency before planning which learning activities they should participate. It’s one of those thing that you rate yourself on a scale of 10. I try to write it in a way that it doesn’t read like something for a 12 year old.

15:00 – 16:00

Meeting with my manager. Today happened to be the day that I needed to do my mid-cycle performance review. Basically it’s the mid-point of a year when you and your supervisor must both be happy with your performance. Otherwise, some kind of performance management plan will be thrown onto your head.

How difficult/easy the conversation goes largely depends on how much common sense the supervisor has. Luckily, mine is a really nice human being who spend 5 minutes on the actual performance discussion and 55 on future opportunities. I mentioned that I would like to complete a master degree of some sort, hoping that the company could pay for it.

16:00 – 16:30

Filling up my performance self-rating.

I often finish at 16:30 as this allows me to finish cooking dinner when my wife comes home. She runs her own business so longer hours are expected.

I know that out there in the wild, there are many people who works a lot harder and are much more committed to their professional duties. However to me, work-life balance is more important. Especially, my wife’s work is very draining and I need to look after her well.

See ya next time!



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