The other day, I was reading an article talking with managers who were cutting back their employee’s work weeks from 40 hours to 32 hours in order to save money without having to layoff a chunk of the workforce. Obviously, if you’re one of the people who was at risk of losing your job in said layoffs, you’re probably very happy with this plan. After all, making 4/5ths of your former paycheck is better than making nothing. Much better.
I wonder about the view of the other workers, however. I imagine it would be frustrating to suddenly have your hours cut. But at the same time, I wonder if there is some camaraderie between employees. I know that I have some coworkers that I wouldn’t miss if they suddenly didn’t work here, but others that I would miss desperately. Also, everyone brings something a little bit different to the workforce. Would I be able to successfully take over someone else’s tasks? Would I want to?
Thinking about it, I think this sounds like the best idea. The work week gets shortened to 4 days, but your specific workday is pretty much the same. There isn’t more work to be done, and your list of tasks hasn’t increased. Sure, your paycheck is smaller, but you have the day off every Friday, which has to be great for families. You get an extra day to do all those chores that you need to accomplish on the weekend, which hopefully gives you a bit more free time to spend together. Maybe you have more time to play soccer with your daughter or have an epic game of Risk with your son. Maybe you and your spouse can spend a lazy afternoon in the park.
Sure, it’s not the ideal, and going back to a 40-hour work week is obviously the goal, but there are some good sides to this rough economic period.