The intention of this email is to poke a little fun at the traditional concept of billing by the hour. I apologize in advance for the grief it may cause for hard-working professionals.
Is the productivity of every hour the same?
Are the 8 hours of work the day before a two-week vacation the same as the 8 hours of work the day after a great Super Bowl party?
Are the first 2 hours of the work day as productive as the last 2 hours of the day?
Is one hour of focused and uninterrupted time the same as an hour of work that includes random texts, email checks and other distractions?
Are there hours in the day that are really productive, and hours that are not?
What about the tools available? If your computer or backhoe is slow due to technical challenges, is that work as productive compared to using a more efficient piece of equipment?
Some pricing models charge for an employee’s time at the same rate no matter what they do. If they could have delegated the job to someone at a lower rate of pay, but that person called in sick, is it still fair to charge at the senior employee rate?
What about using past experience? If you complete a job that you have done a hundred times, is it the same hour of work as the person who is doing it for the first time?
It makes me wonder… if you are billing by the hour, why not hire the least experienced people, give them slow and inefficient equipment, don’t encourage them to delegate and don’t encourage them to become more efficient. The longer they take the better!