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The 4 Day Work Week - Now Wrecking Innovation at a Company Near You...

My new Column is up at Workforce.com.  Topic is the 4-day work week, and why you shouldn't drink the Kool-Aid...

"Here’s a rule of thumb for all you capitalists working undercover as HR pros in corporateWorst_workspaces America:  If your local, state or federal government is leading the charge to implement a seemingly progressive workplace policy, don’t rush to be included in the "me too" camp.

In fact, when you get the brochure for the "government best practices seminar," run like hell.

As an example of such a policy, I give you the four-day workweek for exempt, salaried employees. I understand that nonexempt, hourly employees are going to work a certain number of hours, then go home. For hourly workers, the four-day workweek is a simple exercise in scheduling production and ensuring availability for customers.

The four-day workweek for exempt professionals is different, and it makes sense only if you don’t think about it too hard. Here’s the spin: We’ll work smarter, not harder, enhance work/life balance through organizational design and improve the morale of exempt workers. All this will be accomplished by chopping a calendar day off the workweek that we’ve carried over from the industrial age.

Listen to the logic, and you can fill up a buzzword bingo card with the catchphrases. As the gifted poet Flavor Flav once said, "Don’t believe the hype."

It just takes one click to check out the rest of the article, including four reasons you should think twice before implementing a 4 day work week. 

Please keep the cursing in the comments to a minimum.  My mom's reading and it's hard on her...

Comments

Wally Bock

The money quote is in your Workforce.com article: "Results are replaced by time."

Bravo.

Chris - Manager's Sandbox

Kris, just read the whole article. I will agree with you that "results are replaced by time." I think it's naive, though, to assume that there isn't a focus on time now. How often do you think employees pretend to be busy until 5 or 6, because their culture views it as a bad thing to leave early if you've finished your work.

We focus on BOTH results AND time now. The end game isn't results. It's as much result as you can cram into a set amount of time. And I'm not sure that will change with a 4 day work-week or a 7 day work-week.

I'd like to see something like Best Buy's ROWE model become wide-spread, with no emphasis on schedules or clocks what-so-ever.

- Chris

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