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Topics: Career Development, Organizational Culture, Resource Management
Study non-project stuff during official hours

Should an employee spend time during official hours to learn something which is not related to his/her project?
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First answer is I don't think so.

Then you need to confirm it really don't have project relation.

I once search for various informations on fish reproduction, could have been consider out of scope for a construction project. It was related to the project, requested by some governmental regulation for a dam project.

Amir -

if it's part of your performance development plan and your company supports such development activities during working time, then sure, otherwise you might get into trouble for during it outside of breaks...


I would agree with Kiron on this. Spot On.

I agree also with Kiron, but I would recommend trying to understand why the employee does that ? doesn't the company provide training for him/her? You need to understand the core reason behind such an issue before carrying any official steps.

The easiest thing is to escalate but trying to understand what is going one will actually support the employee.

Depends what environment you work in. In some places it's encouraged. But generally you should be working to increase value for your organization in ways approved by them.

I personally encourage team to learn best practices, improve problem solving skills, etc. If they are utilizing 10% of their total time in office for such activities then it is absolutely fine provided that project deliverables are not affected.
Moreover, few employees love learning new technologies and working on challenging work, if we do not support them; we may end up loosing a good candidate.

Professional development should always be supported, but the expectation is that it is related to your responsibilities and/or approved. Anything extracurricular should be taken up during one's personal time.

I strongly believe an employee should try to enhance his knowledge in other areas while he is not working on his own project.

Everything is part of your project. You organization is an open and adaptable system so each thing that happen is impacting the whole system. The project where you are assigned is impacting the whole organization. So, learning about what is happen into the environment will help to the project where you are assigned.

Thanks everyone. Overall consent seems like employee should learn only what is required in project directly or indirectly like soft skills.

Other related questions are:,
(1) In your observation, what mostly employees normally do?
(2) What happens with both types of employees who remain focus on work only and those who spend time parallel on learning other stuff?

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