As I read the post, something which stood out to me was the idea of “counting productive hours”. Alongside that number, it seems like we’d also have to estimate something like “productivity per hour”. (I may be getting a bit lost in the math here; let me know if one of the model’s current factors is meant to represent this.)
Not all productive hours are equally productive/impactful; some of the hours I’ve spent at CEA have been life-changing, while others were spent editing Facebook posts; all were “productive” in the sense that I was finishing necessary work, but part of my job is trying to figure out how to generate more of the most productive hours, not just “more hours of productive time”. The same will be true for any project; some hours of “research” are much more valuable than others.
I suspect that some dynamics of working at an organization make having “hours of productive time” easier (more chance of a sudden inspiration from a colleague that you’d have spent much more time coming up with on your own), while others could make it harder (“overhead” or operational tasks that a lone researcher might not have to worry about).
Good point. This could be factored into W, the value of the work. Although perhaps it would be better if the model was further elaborated to add an explicit “depth” factor.
Cal Newport’s Deep Work comes to mind. We try to facilitate an optimal combination of Deep Work and serendipitous collaboration at the hotel by having both private work spaces in rooms, and co-working in communal areas, available.