It’s a curious feature of “Nine to Five” IT departments that Friday afternoons are always a write-off; not because of laziness or the typical end-of-week malaise, but because nobody is willing to risk making a change that could break something and leave them with Friday night overtime or even a full weekend of work.
As a result of this, a full 10% of the working week is wasted (well, 10% more than would be otherwise) playing flash games and messing around with remote controlled helicopters…for example. The problem is that there’s no easy solution, if you send everyone home on a Friday lunchtime, then it just means Friday morning is wasted – and the same obviously applies to having Friday off entirely or working Saturday mornings.
Clearly what’s needed is some kind of useful, read-only task that takes about 4 hours and can be done weekly without being too soul-destroying (I’m not spending every Friday afternoon writing documentation, that’s for sure). When I discover something I’ll let you know.