Amazon Has Joined These Companies in Offering Shorter Workweeks
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Tired of working Monday through Friday? Sick of those eight-hour days? Maybe you love your job but it leaves you with little time for family or even for yourself. Whatever the reason, you may be in luck. There’s been much speculation about the effectiveness of a five-day, 40-hour workweek, and some companies are seeking other options.
Even some of the world’s most successful people oppose the concept of 40 hours a week. Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim supports a three-day workweek. "You should have more time for you during all of your life -- not when you're 65 and retired," he explained. Virgin’s Richard Branson agrees, and said that Slim’s idea “could work.” People should be able to work "when, where and how they like, in order to get the best results possible," he said.
But don’t get the wrong idea. A shorter workweek doesn’t necessarily translate to more vacation time or less work to actually do. It's a way for employees to get more done in the time they do work.
From improved employee morale to lower turnover rates to even a drive in profits -- it’s no wonder these companies have cut down employee hours.
The Washington Post recently revealed Amazon’s new program for a 30-hour workweek. By testing a new program made up of three small teams with a few dozen part-time employees who will work Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the company hopes to “create a work environment that is tailored to a reduced schedule and still fosters success and career growth.”
These employees will be salaried and receive the same benefits as full-time employees, and also have the option to transition into full-time employment.
Global audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG offers U.S. employees the option of a four-day workweek -- although it must be arranged between employees and their managers.
“Their satisfaction goes way up when they have control over their time. And it increases employee morale and productivity and retention,” said Barbara Wankoff, KPMG’s director of workplace solutions.
Overall, the company found an increase in employee morale, productivity and retention. Who doesn’t want Fridays off?
Perhaps one of the first known leaders in the four-day workweek movement, tax services firm Ryan has seen nothing but success from compressed weeks. After installing the program in 2008, the company saw its employee turnover rate drop from 30 to 11 percent, revenues and profits nearly doubled and client satisfaction increased.
It’s no wonder the firm has won multiple “Best Place to Work” awards.
Treehouse, an online education company, employs a four-day workweek and pays its employees full salaries.
You might be surprised to hear that the company has actually experienced major growth -- which many attribute to the reduced workweek. “Thirty-two hours of higher quality work is better than 40 hours of lower quality work,” CEO Ryan Carson said.
A boost in employee morale is also ever-present in the office, “On Mondays, ‘everyone’s invigorated and excited,’” he said.