Philanthropy is the Best Efficiency

Reform … will accomplish, roughly speaking, no change that will benefit labor at the expense of capital. – Max Eastman

Got this article in my email today. Four-day work week as employee perk? Sure, I’m in favor of that.

The middle bit’s good: they talk about the appeal of fewer hours, and they quote the CEO of a company that has switched to a four-day work week and seen sustained productivity and growth.

And then…

If you employ the 4/10 model, employees work four, 10-hour days. The longer hours allow them to get their work accomplished, while still cutting the work week shorter.

Another schedule has employees work nine hours for five days, allowing them to take a day off biweekly. You’ll still see most of your employees five days a week, but the biweekly days off can work as a reward for work well done, and a chance for your best people to relax and refresh.

What we have here is a failure of imagination. The CEO they quote had his company go to 32-hour weeks. Why, Ilya Pozin, are you incapable of imagining that people might get the same amount of work done in fewer hours if they are less tired and therefore more focused?

Incidentally, workers fought for the eight-hour work day. Ford showed that the eight-hour work day was just as or more productive than the nine or ten hour day. Subsequent science backs this up.

Come on.


2 thoughts on “Philanthropy is the Best Efficiency

  1. When I was working in the lab a lot, I felt like a 5-6 hour work day was a good day’s work. Working from about 10 am to 3-4 pm (with a half hour-hour break for lunch, so maybe that’s only a 4-5 hour work day) meant that I could sleep in to a decent time for me and not feel too groggy in the morning, and also meant that I was home in plenty of time to both cook dinner and have a lovely evening doing other things. I felt like I was able to plan my day and be really productive in that 4-5 hour stretch in a way that didn’t leave me resenting my job or feeling drained. I loved it. And yes, I would occasionally have to pull 11 hour days for certain experiments, so this wasn’t my schedule every day, but it’s one I really liked. I hope I can make this kind of thing happen again someday.

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