The 40 hour Work Week is Under Attack
‘Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin,” at least so says Dolly Parton. Born of the industrial era, the 40 hour work week is now a standard the world over, but using time as a measurement of accomplishments is a relic, says Ilya Pozin. In an article for LinkedIn, the founder of web design company Ciplex argues that companies should do away with strict working hours and allow for flexibility to promote creative and productive thinking.
Why Employees Shouldn’t Have Hours
It’s time to bring your company into the 21st century, where work isn’t about clocking hours, but accomplishing goals.
The traditional 9-to-5, 40-hour work week is just that: traditional. It’s a fossil from an era when the number of hours an employee clocked on a production line was a simplified measurement of productivity. Although the nature of work has clearly changed, businesses are still automatically adopting this rigid schedule without considering its effects on both employees and happiness–two things that should fall together seamlessly.
Perhaps in a creative ‘office’ environment, the author has a point. But creative environments do not reside in offices. Nor do they reside on the manufacturing floor.
The trust that is necessary in a creative environment is distinctly different than the trust required for manufacturing, or even retail for that matter. Employers need to trust that their employees will be on time, ready & able for work.
What is distracting & disturbing is an idle machine or absent retail clerk.
Teamwork requires that all players be in place at their appointed time & place. Not down & around the corner serenely sipping lattes at Starbucks.
The four-day work week
What would you do with your time if you only had to work four, three, or even two days a week?
Decades ago, experts predicted we would all be working just 14 to 15 hours a week by now, and would have so much free time, we wouldn’t even know what to do with ourselves.
Instead, U.S. workers have been stuck with the official 40-hour workweek — or even longer for many of us — since 1938, in order to finance our ever-expensive lifestyles.
WASHINGTON — Sen. Susan Collins is pushing a bill that would raise the Affordable Care Act definition of a full-time work week from 30 hours to 40 hours. This would align the definition with other federal rules on the length of a work week.
Under the Affordable Care Act, companies with 50 or more workers would have to provide health insurance coverage to their full-time employees or risk a series of escalating tax penalties. Full-time is defined as 30 hours per week in the act. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, a regular, full-time work week is 40 hours.
For present purposes, the discussion will assume employees are regular “40 hour per week” employees.
Will this bill pass?
Well, it should. However, passage in the Senate will be blocked by the Democrats. The companion House bill has better chances.. But this best intentioned bipartisan bill will die on the obscene alter of partisanship. At least until after the midterm elections, after the can has been kicked down the road.
Then, it will pass
Then We The People can move on.