Amazon is taking a “few dozen” full-time employees to enter a pilot program for a 30-hour workweek. They receive 75 percent of their salary and retain all benefits. Could this become a trend for the future? And could such a program fall within the realm of possibility for your business too? Meredith Rhodes explores the potential merits in an article for Business 2 Community.
The Changing Length of a Week
The Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that Americans work more hours and take fewer vacation days than other countries, which in itself might not be a problem—except for the fact that Gallup calculates only 30 percent of the workforce is actually engaged at work. There is real possibility that truncating the size of the workweek could remedy the engagement problem, at least in part.
Rhodes highlights three benefits, the first of which is that working less is better for your health. One study finds that 40 percent of American jobs are at least “very stressful,” and employees who work over 11 hours a day are more than 60 times more likely to develop heart disease. A second related benefit is decreased risk of burning out at work. For instance, likelihood of burnout increases 230 percent with a person who works 60 hours a week, compared to a person who works 40 hours a week.
Lastly, working shorter hours just saves us from being gloomy people:
In his study “The Productivity of Working Hours,” Professor John Pencavel discovered working longer hours increases fatigue and stress, leading to a greater probability of errors and accidents that will decrease productivity. Numerous studies indicate that when we’re exhausted, we tend to misread those around us in a more negative way. We may perceive a positive tone of voice as neutral, or a neutral expression as negative, etc. We also have difficulty controlling our emotions when we’re fatigued, and may be likely to lash out at perceived aggressors.
A shift to shorter hours will not happen overnight, but it is nice that this has become a topic of discussion at all. Perhaps pass this article up the food chain where you work. You can view the original article here: http://www.business2community.com/human-resources/can-amazons-30-hour-work-week-work-01650669