TAKE BACK YOUR TIME is a major U.S./Canadian initiative to challenge the epidemic of overwork, over-scheduling and time famine that now threatens our health, our families and relationships, our communities and our environment. [Source]
I have always envisioned building a better work place for my staff. I’ve dreamed of staffing a business and ironing out the kinks such as the wasted time at the water cooler or the hours blown away playing solitaire when the boss isn’t looking. Don’t get me wrong. Downtime is important and I admire companies that require a block of time toward personal improvement along the lines of “this time is to be spent at the office working on your own project.” The concept is that you get your mind off your project enough to refresh, while doing something that interests you, and betters your skillset. This is not time to play Doom. I believe many of the Google Labs projects originated with this method of management.
Google engineers can spend up to 20 percent of their time on a project of their choice. [Source]
Ok. So the projects are for Google and still have to be approved.
I think through commited staff that a company can survive on a 4 day work week. I think there will be times the staff has to work 5, 6 or 7 days and overtime but for the most part, I think we easily waste away 8 hours a week on non-essentials and that if we moved all of that to Friday, the staff wouldn’t even have to come in. Ah! I also think that same company can do most of its work from the employees homes and not require more than a few days a month at the office. Maybe Monday of each week is required at the office with regular video conferencing on other days and some meetings throughout the month scheduled in the office but not necessarily for the whole day.
Naturally, this model will not fit all business models. But one day, I will demonstrate just such a company! Something has to change. Look at the Time Poverty Fact Sheet to understand why.