My first three proper jobs in the world, as a game room attendant in a large municipal amusement park, as the night clerk in a downtown Chicago liquor store, and as a copywriter for the Montgomery Ward catalogue, all had something in common.
I punched a clock.
In in the morning. Out in the evening.
There was something very equitable about having to punch a clock. For one, you got paid for the hours you worked. Two, when you punched out, dammit, you were out.
There was "company time," then there was your time. Time when you were "off the clock."
The way the world works now (this is one of the reasons how the moguls at the tippy tippy top of the pyramid can give themselves $100 million in compensation not including their $44 million retirement parachutes) we never punch out.
Even though the charade of timesheet tyranny has us accounting for 1875 hours a year, most of us are "on" double that amount of time.
Worse, for relationships with significant others, with friends, with family, with self is we never hear anymore that assertive mechanical punch on your timecard. The stamp that says, I'm out.
My guess is that 94% of my friends and colleagues, when they do finally leave their desks at night, check their phones while waiting for the elevator, again on their way to the train, and about six times while on the train. Then the moment they get home, they log on again and see what they're missing.
There are many things that lead to the great dismal swamp of mushy creative.
Maybe the absence of time clocks--of punching out at the end of the day and being out--is just one more.