A Four Day Workweek

posted by Russ, September 7 in lifestyle design with tags , , ,

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I had seen this article about a 4 day workweek a while back and had intended to post about it then. I never got to it, so anyway here are my thoughts on it.

Personally I love the idea. From the point of view of someone who has worked in the tech corporate world for years, I think there is so much wasted time that could be avoided and minimized by a more flexible working schedule. The nature of tech jobs is such that sometimes you are on a roll and will work a longer day, sometimes not. Years ago at my old job there were days that I would literally go ask for work and was told to just “relax” for a bit, that nothing was coming up at the moment. To me this is absurd. In this situation why do I need to be in the office doing nothing? Well because from a “professional” point of view it would look bad to send me home because there was nothing to do.

I feel strongly that most office jobs are more about keeping up appearances than ensuring actual productivity. It is more important to keep people on the clock 9 to 5, five days a week (or longer) than it is to actually get things done. Now to get back to what I was mentioning earlier about the tech industry. The reality (at least for me) is that there are some days that I might hit a good stopping point with my work midday, and the rest of the day is sort of spent toiling between projects. And of course there are other days that come 5 or 6 I am in the middle of deep thought and being productive. I feel that allowing employees to be flexible could harness these work patterns and make for more productivity overall.

And when it comes to the 4 day workweek, I believe this flexibility could work very well with that. Time off and the need to recharge on weekends is another under estimated thing in the corporate world and especially by most management. For me it really increases productivity to have more time off. I know it sounds counter intuitive, but when you know you will have more personal time and less office time, you can better schedule the time that you do plan for work, and in those few, more flexible hours actually get more things done.

Originally posted on Sunday, September 7th, 2008 at 2:32 PM .

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