Legislative Branch

Utopian Work Schedules – Improving the way we work

Shorter work weeks, flexi-time and telecommuting should be seriously considered and implemented as the norm for the federal workforce. Countless research has indicated the advantages of shorter durations (such as 30 hour work weeks), flexi-time (distributing the hours unconventionally e.g. 10 hour days, Monday through Friday) and telecommuting from home. Perhaps this will evenly distribute the workload and decrease unemployment. (Aren’t we looking to reduce unemployment?)

 

If federal government sets the example, private sector companies may follow its lead. This example will be even more revered if hours worked less than forty included the advantages of full-time benefits. Not only will the environment benefit from this change (such as the reduced usage of energy) but the workers as well. Overhead costs will be significantly reduced with the telecommuting. The technology is available. Why aren’t we using it?

 

Did you know that during the Great Depression, the Kellogg’s factory, instead of laying off workers, went to a six-hour work day? By changing the work hours, the workers suffered for a short time in making less money; however, nobody lost their job altogether. Incidentally, the workers increased their productivity and eventually went back to earning their full pay for only six hours work per day!

 

Some Advantages:

 

• Flexibility for workers to spend more time with their families and possibly reducing child care costs.

 

• Less stress creating healthier individuals reducing healthcare costs.

 

• Reduce unemployment; providing more jobs.

 

• Reducing the need for unemployment compensation and other social programs costing the taxpayers hard-earned dollars.

 

• Workers would have more time to spend on the economy.

 

The Stats:

 

“What Happens When Employees Work Whenever and Wherever They Want?

By the end of 2007, all 4,000 staffers at Best Buy headquarters will be on ROWE (Results-Only Work Environment), which permits them to work whenever and wherever they want.

Average Rise In Worker Productivity Since 2005: 35%

Average Change in Voluntary Turnover (Quitting) Across Divisions: -72.3%

Sun Microsystems Inc. calculates that it saves $300 million per year in real estate costs by allowing nearly 50% of employees to work anywhere they want.” (http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/the-truth/#_employees)

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Idea No. 12107