Our newest superhero: The 32-hour-man Image: Twitter
The world as you know it — is about to change. We are about to embark on very audacious territory here. You may call it a revolution but tread carefully. It can all go away so fast.
Every millennial's El Dorado — the ever-elusive rainbow land — the three words your boss never wants you to utter — yes, we are talking about the four-day work week. It has arrived.
And it might just stay for good.
Earlier this year, New Zealand-based trust management firm Perpetual Guardian rolled out a 32-hour work week on a trial basis. This entails four days of work and a three-day off.
According to a report in The New York Times, the four-day work week is not just working out, but it's a huge success. Not only has the new system increased productivity, but it has ushered in an era of hyper-motivated workers, who are looking for ways to work harder while they are at work.
Their first step: Reducing 2-hour meetings to 30 minutes.
The firm ran the experiment in March and April this year and asked two researchers to study the effects on staff.
The company found that the shorter work week boosted productivity among its 240 employees, who also revealed they spent more time with their families, exercising, cooking, etc.
"Supervisors said staff were more creative, their attendance was better, they were on time, and they didn’t leave early or take long breaks. Their actual job performance didn’t change when doing it over four days instead of five," Jarrod Haar, a human resources professor at Auckland University of Technology, who studied the change, told The New York Times.
"They worked out where they were wasting time and worked smarter, not harder,” added Haar. Andrew Barnes, the founder of Perpetual Guardian, revealed he first had the idea of reducing working hours from 40 to 32 after he read a report that suggested people spent less than three hours of their workday productively employed.
Err... no comment.
Barnes also insists any work system should focus on productivity and not work hours. Basically, the work you do and not how much time you spent at the workplace.
"Otherwise you’re saying, ‘I’m too lazy to figure out what I want from you, so I’m just going to pay you for showing up. A contract should be about an agreed level of productivity. If you deliver that in less time, why should I cut your pay?" he said.
Barnes, who currently tops our best boss list, has asked the board of his company to make this change permanent.
"What happens is you get a motivated, energised, stimulated, loyal workforce. I have ended up with statistics that indicate my staff are fiercely proud of the company they work for because it gives a damn," he added.
The results also suggest reduced work weeks can work in other economies across the world. For instance, it was recently revealed Mumbaikars work the longest hours in the world.
According to a report by the Swiss Bank UBS, the average employee in Mumbai works 3,315 hours a year. And the other Indian cities can't be too far behind.
So, if anyone deserves the 32-hour work week, it's us. There, we said it.
Now, go show this to your boss. Just don't scream 'Revolution!' when you do it. Be cool, the change is here.