the firm claimed revenues have somehow grown 30 to 40 per cent and profits tripled during the year-long experiment.
If you can achieve that with just one day off in the week, think how much you could do with 2 days off!
Wednesday, colloquially known as "hump day", tends to be regarded as the toughest of the working week. Furthest from the weekend in either direction, distracted eyes flit constantly clockwards in anticipation of medicinal refreshment or simply just leaving a bureaucratic hellhole. So one app maker has sacked the whole thing …
For years, my family lived in the Boston area while my father worked in New York City. His firm flew him out to New York on Monday morning, flew him back on Thursday evening, and he had a three-day weekend every week.
It worked out great for us kids - we saw him Friday before and after school, and all weekend. He liked it too, so much so that sometimes he didn't even go back to the hotel but slept and showered at work, when they were dealing with a particularly tough issue or tight deadline.
It's not a schedule for everyone, but we all liked it much better than when he returned to working locally and doing the usual morning/evening commute.
When I was working for a small firm I'd often put in long hours, and so would most of the other employees. That sort of "heroic development" can actually be fun when you're interested in the work and you don't have a lot of outside distractions like a family of your own. One memorable summer I worked 64 days straight, typically for 10 or so hours each day, and most nights spent a few hours hanging out with friends. I couldn't do that now (I was more resilient in my 20s), but at the time I was having a blast.
I guess we've all been there. I used to work for a tech company which celebrated its 60th anniversary with a free mug for all employees and a new mission statement to say that we'd start acting like a small start-up, crush bureaucracy and free the creativity. Unless you wanted to get a hotel for a business stay (boss and director's sig plus mandated list of cheap hotels so far from some customers' sites that taxis or hire cars were sometimes needed). Or hire a car (all living grandparents and a close relative of Noah had to sign before the directors would even consider it). Or buy the analysis tool that the customer specced and paid for (two alternatives and market justification required before directors signed the req. cos them were the rules for spend over a certain limit). Or....etc. - I'm sure you've been there.
This was in the days before bean bags, hammocks and free canteens, so our expectations were never raised much beyond life getting a bit easier (it didn't). Free overtime was, of course, not a problem.
I once worked at a place that managed to be semilarge and still have a startup environment, actually a rather pleasant one. I think they mostly managed it by having smaller offices in many places, so there were only about 200 people where I worked. The nice thing about their scheduling system was that they really didn't care when you did the work as long as you were there for or called into any meetings and worked for the specified amount of time. You could do some long days and take most or all of a day off. You also didn't have many meetings, and most of them were small and could be organized to give you the flexibility to take time off.
When I worked for a startup, they didn't even care how many hours we worked, as long as the work got done (right). My brother and I were both working there and sharing an apartment, and we'd often roll in just before lunch, then stay until midnight or so. We met our commitments to the customers and other employees, so no harm done.
I know there's a widespread belief that long working hours are somehow inherently bad. It's wrong. Work can be pleasing and self-actualizing. While I have my leisure-time activities - reading, hiking, playing with my granddaughters, spending time with my wife and daughter, socializing with friends - I spend most of my waking hours working on my job or on self-appointed tasks like home DIY. And for 30+ years that's worked out just great.
> Most famously, France has a legally mandated 35-hour week.
Well, it depends on the contract: employee who are paid per hour will have the limit, plus any overtime; but a lot of contract in IT are paid by days worked, like mine, with the assumption that I'll be working overtime (that is over the 35h/week limit), which automatically entitle me to some additional paid vacation (2 weeks per year)
> "By the time we get to Thursday it's like a Monday again. You get a new feeling of enthusiasm and cracking on with work, collaboration."
Um. Can someone let her know that feelings of enthusiasm and cracking on with work collaboration have been associated with Mondays by precisely no-one.
It's all very well for a "voice experience agency", whatever that means, to slack off for a day, but there are an awful lot of people who have set shifts for good reason. Try working at a facility operating 24/7 and see how well it goes when you suggest everyone stays at home on the same day. Or try literally anywhere in retail where people actually expect shops to open - hell, the article even notes that people at Versa are supposed to do all their admin and shopping on a Wednesday, which means they rely on everyone else not doing the same. There are plenty of arguments in favour of more flexible working in general, but this idea is far too simplistic and relies both on the vast majority of people not doing it, and on being a company where no-one actually cares if you exist or not - great for an irrelevant app developer, not so great if every power station in the country shuts down for the day.
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