Employee Motivation for Clock Watchers

Employee motivation for clock watchers - copyright by Andertoons

This business cartoon came after hearing the Dolly Parton song ‘9 to 5’ one day.

I was playing with different clock ideas when I was also reminded of a previous manager who had a thing about looking to see what time it was. ‘Don’t worry, I’ll let you know when you can go home!’ she’d chirp sarcastically.

Put the two together, lighten the tone a bit, stir well, and you have today’s business cartoon. (By the way, writing legibly in a circle is harder than it looks.)

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Mark Anderson, professional cartoonist

About the Author: Mark Anderson’s cartoons appear in publications including The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. Anderson is the creator of the popular cartoon website, Andertoons.com, where he licenses his cartoons for presentations, newsletters and other projects. He blogs at Andertoons cartoon blog.


Mark Anderson Mark Anderson's cartoons appear in publications including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. His business cartoons are available for licensing at his website, Andertoons.com.

28 Reactions
  1. Mark, I love it! I hope you’ll be posting your funnies regularly here. It’ll be nice to come on over and have a smile and a laugh every once in a while 🙂

  2. Hahahaha, that’s really funny!

  3. I had a manager like that once, Mark. He could make you feel 2 centimeters tall with one sentence. Glad I don’t work for him anymore.

    — Anita

  4. Good work 🙂

  5. Thanks everyone!

    Anita, I’d say we had the same management, but mine refused to go metric.

  6. Great cartoon! This reminds us that, normally, clockwatching is the product of an unfulfilling work environment. I know that if I’m enjoying what I’m doing, time flys by!

  7. I’d have to agree with your friendly neighborhood computer guy in that watching the clock is truly a sign of an unfulfilling work environment. And it’s true, if you like what you do the day just flies by!

    I used to work for a real pickle of a man. This guy would even make his wife sit in his office for 45 minutes waiting for him to pick up his head and acknowledge her – so she could ask for grocery money! Boy am I glad I don’t have to deal with that man anymore! It was an intense environment and all of the employees expressed signs of wanting to flee when 5pm rolled around. They’d start lining up in the front entryway near the door around 4:55pm 🙂

  8. Great cartoon, and like the others here I can relate! I just discovered your site and am really enjoying it. Keep it up!


  9. Mark has a great sense of humor and cooks a great ham on the grill……..I follow him daily on his website and his blog. It’s a fun way to start your work day!!

  10. Mark,

    That’s a good business cartoon! 🙂

  11. These are so great! I love how you capture so many thoughs, issues and business realities in a snippet of a picture.

  12. Innovative idea, great expressions!

  13. The truth is, time is an illusion and our society is pretty screwed up for being reliant on time. Doing your time has nothing to do with productivity. My sister was working in a big computer company in Taiwan and everyone stays at the office from 9 am to 9 pm. Why? They don’t want to leave before the manager/boss leaves. In order to make it all the way from 9 am to 9 pm, most people would eat their food and read newspapers from 9 to 11 am then get ready for lunch and then they might think of getting some work done. My sister was educated in North America and obviously she thought this was ridiculous because she starts at 9 am and was done with all her work by 2 pm without wasting time on other things. At 6 pm, she got up and left. People really hated her for that but she didn’t really care because she had really good sales results. Bottom line: our society would be much more efficient if we can have result based work environments rather than time based work environments.

  14. I enjoy your cartoons in the Harvard Business Review. This is another good one.

  15. Haha, fantastic cartoon! I love it 🙂

  16. Mark. Welcome! The cartoon is great. What I love about it is the story behind how you came up with the idea. I can remember those days pre-entrepreneurship when clock watching was almost a sport!

  17. i love it very interesting.

  18. in my opinion employees can only be motivated if they feel a sense of ownership. this is easier the smaller the company is. in any way you have to pay employees according to their performance (however difficult it is to determine performance)

  19. Hi,

    sad but true… well done!!!

    cya 🙂

  20. Monitor-employees

    To improve productivity, you may also use employee montioring software to check what your employees are doing on their computers, so that you can know what your employees need.

  21. Franchise Information

    That’s a great way to make time go faster for every employee. How about building a clock with your list of schedules and things to do then stick that to the front of your wall.
    Now that would be fun!

  22. I love clock watchers. Throughout my career as a sales manager I would catch a group of sales reps watching the clock tick away. Then I would pop out of my office and say… “The next person to sell something gets to go home!” It’s amazing how hard people will work when they are motivated.

  23. This is really funny, but so true! sad that Im one of those who has a thing on looking at the watch. It’s not that i dont appreciate my work or im not motivated to do my work but im also monitoring myself on how long did it takes me to finish my task. well i guess its a different story. but the cartoon is really cool.

  24. Nice cartoon character, I just discovered your site and am really enjoying it. Keep it up!