Most of the devs with the luxury of moving and getting a different job started looking immediately. I changed jobs less than 6 months after the policy change. Productivity also went way down because morale was in the gutter.
Not that I believe this, but I can understand the logic of it.
Surprise surprise, that's not how it works. We're not doing cog work, and productivity cannot be measured by the time sitting in front of a bloody screen. Also, pro tip: morale wins battles.
† Efficiency is producing work with a given amount of power. A given efficiency does not mean it can be reliably sustained – if at all reached — at a higher power level.
Joke I always have is that folks will get actively pissed if you take away free coffee/soda. To the point that they will look to leave. If you never even offer it, though, they'll just complain about it.
Medium/long term: Benefits really need to be a function of the government that taxes cover for all workers.
Health Care should be handled by a single payer.
My dentist is open 43hrs/wk.
Legally, 30hrs is full time for benefits, so it's hard to see any truth at all to anything you wrote.
Plenty of other businesses do hire lots of part time people and manage their hours in order to avoid obligations. If you don't think that is true, well, I don't even know where to start.
To ensure something is to make sure it happens—to guarantee it.
To insure something or someone is to cover it with an insurance policy.
ensure - to make sure, certain, or safe
insure - to make certain especially by taking necessary measures and precautions
That was my last job, though. Now I work my own schedule and it's nice. WFH though so focus is even tougher. I find that if I start to tire in the afternooon a workout does wonders..
If I know I have a lot to do I'll sometimes come in early like 6:30 or 7:00 or something..
Interesting how different people work differently. I'm a big believer in flexible work scheduling that allows each person to optimize for themselves.
I've been this same way for years, and have been discovering that carbs trigger a hypoglycemic reaction that tanks my energy. Going low carb improved things quite a bit.
I make sure I get a solid amount (7+ hours) of sleep every night and try to maintain consistency with sleep times - but I feel like I don't really "wake up" until after lunch. Even though I'm fully awake all morning - I feel like my mind doesn't focus or get into the groove, as you put it, until well after 4pm - and then its time go home.
I have a friend who is an extreme night owl who has long said then when he sleeps matters far more than how much—but in a negative sense. Even if he gets as much as 10 hours of sleep, if he has to go to sleep early in order to wake up early (6-7am), he’ll be miserable. If he goes to sleep at 3am and wakes up at 9:30am, he’ll feel great despite having gotten much less sleep.
Luckily, my current role requires me to spend time staying up to date, so I can spend my mornings learning and my afternoons using that knowledge.
I wonder how much of meetings being "a waste" is from the people involved not being "in the zone."
Second rule of meet club: The meeting MUST have a purpose. If there is no goal, there is no meeting.
Third rule of meet club: The meeting must end when that purpose is completed. If new problems arise, that is now a second meeting, not a continuation of the first.
Fourth rule of meet club: Only the people essential to the purpose may be invited. People who are nonessential may and should excuse themselves at any convenient time.
Fifth rule of meet club: Meetings must result in a defined action: Continued observation is an action, but doing nothing is not allowed.
Sixth rule of meet club: If you don't write down what the purpose was, who was there, and what action was taken, none of it counts.
There was probably less overt barely- or non-work-related fiddling but people weren't heads-down all day either.
As a programmer back then, finishing tasks early just meant more features were requested, and tasks added to my queue. Learning things meant reading lots of technical books/papers for work at work or maybe accessing usenet or IRC for cutting edge stuff. If one had access to a unix computer or terminal, lots of text games available for off hours goofing off like Rogue or Adventure.
Lengthy compiles/simulation runs might mean a little leisure time reading of the newspaper or a book as you suggest.
The only time I have as much idle time as the GP suggests is working in video games and that was only because we were encouraged to play other games during down time to see what the competition was up to and try to stay current with what was available and to get ideas so one is always analyzing the product while playing - i.e. work.
So we enter this comfortable medium where we're productive enough to look busy until 5pm, even if we could've worked at 100% capacity and finished everything by 1pm.
Productivity and optimum working hours vary drastically across individuals - Some are most productive in the morning, others are night owls, others work best with a gym break in the middle of the day, others work best from home or coffee shops, others work faster/slower than others. Adults should be allowed to work in whatever manner is most effective for them, not babysat like grade school kids.
At the end of the day one should be paid by results. Time may equate to results in a factory or retail store, not in mentally intensive knowledge work.
But of course none of this will change because employers have all the leverage, and any sort of organized labor movement has been completely decimated. We're supposed to be happy with the status quo because our ancestors had it worse. Asking for the drastically increased productivity due to technological advancements to translate to increased freedom equates to "entitlement". It's archaic thinking and it needs to die.
In Moscow where some people spends over 4 hours just to get to work companies started to offer 10 hours of work time in return to extra day off.
Even if you were only working one day a week, you wouldn't be able to do 8 hours of contiguous useful information-work.
As for productivity then I noticed when debugging hard bugs times really fly.
I think the point of the linked article is that the same reason that makes you recoil at that, and the same reasons that would make these coming hell-days so dread-inducing- those same reasons apply to an 8-hour day, just to a lesser degree.
It's not about extending the weekend as much as possible, it's about shortening the part of each workday that you're "working", and reducing the mental burden of each individual workday.
Not everyone likes that schedule, but some really prefer it and actively choose it over more "standard" schedules. Especially those who have small children. They have around 20 days a month to be with their children as long as needed, and only have to worry about whom to leave them with during the other 10 days. Couples where both are doctors, and both have this time table, have the kids problem fully solved by just picking different days to work.
This is how it works in Moscow. A person comes to work at 9, has a long lunch/pause from 2 to 3 and then leave at 8. As an added bonus late in the evening traffic jams are reduced and the underground is no longer overcrowded so it is faster to get home.
That would equate to 18 hour days. Give yourself 2 hours of time spread across the morning and evening to wash, dress, eat etc. you'd be looking at 4 hours sleep a night for 4 nights and no relaxation time. That seems unsustainable.
If the parent commenter meant it takes 2 hours to get to work and 2 hours to get back that would have been better said like that, or "4 hours total commute time per day", or similar.
That only works if you get 5 days pay for 4 days work and everyone else gets 4 days pay for 4 days work. Because where are you going to spend the money if everyone else is chillaxxing too?
I am not anti the concept but it isn’t going to work if it becomes leisure class vs service worker class
Jesus himself could come down from Heaven, bring the Ark of the Covenant out of hiding, join forces with Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, get the endorsement of the Clintons and the Bushes, and we still wouldn't do squat with the workday or workweek. It'll still be 8 hours 5 days a week 100 years from now. Probably even 500.
8 hours is a convenient fiction we tell ourselves. People with no leverage work more or less depending on if they are salaried or hourly. People with leverage and the willingness to deploy it work what they want to work.
No employer is going to willingly increase their own costs. The employer-employee relationship grew out of the old serf-lord relationship. Most firms still think of their employees as 'resources'.
We've been prophesizing the coming of a brave new world of material plenty and leisure since the Industrial Revolution. It didn't happen then and it's not going to happen now.
While SF/NYC/Austin type firms complain that they can't bring their dog to work, the mother/father/brother/sister over there working as much as they can and just had their benefits cut (and their employer gives them some catchall excuse like "because Obamacare!") because their hours were reduced from 40 to 35, and anytime they even get remotely close to 40 hours, they get sent home, let's start with them.
It might work well for some fields (e.g., programming), but for the general labor force this idea doesn't seem like a very well thought.
I still don't know why programmers think their profession is so fabulously unique that their office time scheduling can't even apply to any other industry.
Source: R. Gordon, “Rise and fall of American growth.”
I don't recall a source, but I'm fairly sure that American school classes last longer than what data shows is effectual, i.e. teaching a class longer than X minutes (I think it's 30 or 40) has no demonstrable effect.
I found it worked out great for all subjects. You could have a mini lecture first to learn something new, have a break, then have a bunch of time applying what you just learned.
Or if we had lectures we had the lecture first then just as much time after for questions.
You could watch a documentary and then have a follow-up discussion.
We also didn't start classes until 9 AM, because the school knew that teenagers in general aren't at the top of their game in the morning.
I really liked that setup.
"In the LinkedIn post, Grant was weighing in on an Atlantic article about the time gap between when school and work days end, a bane for many parents. But it's not the first time Grant has given his stamp of approval to less work with more productivity."
The workday reduction is a bit hand-wavy - it sounds good on the surface but when you get into the nitty gritty.
Mine already did. Early dismissal at around 12:30 every friday. Thank goodness I have a stay-at-home mom for a wife, because I don't know how you're supposed to deal with that and also have a job.
Actually I do know- they offer paid daycare on fridays. It's still a little silly.
I'm very lucky that I have support from family and an employer that is very accommodating to my schedule, as I am a divorced dad with a full time job.
And how long is elementary school? 8AM-3PM? If teachers weren't often required to do work outside of class, those hours sound pretty reasonable.
I wish it would be common in Germany too...
Point is, it seems like I keep hearing about studies which tell me x,y,z etc; but if humans dropped into a zoo on another planet and a study was done to see how long humans could run, I'd bet you'd get some wild answers until you just let the people who like to run go out and run marathons, ultra marathons, etc.
Modern work has some aspect of captivity to it that we certainly subject ourselves to, when in reality we are all individuals with each our own strengths and struggles.
A smaller and more manageable idea which I am trying to instill in my company is to create a culture where it is not necessary to check in while on vacation or once you are off the clock.
In other words, what a job is supposed to be for most people.
What do you do with these people? Do you increase the minimum wage to something more inflation adjusted (upwards of $20/hr). Do you just cut their hours and be done with it? What do you do about the staffing shortages that a 30hr work week would create?
In the CNBC article, they reference a study of staff in a Swedish nursing home where they reduced the work day shifts from 8 hours to 6 hours. While productivity and quality of life may have increased, a quick calculation would show that the nursing home would now have to pay for 4 shifts of staff each day as opposed to only 3 shifts. Without knowing more about that particular nursing home, I'd imagine needing to employ an additional shift of people to be a pretty big hurdle to actually implementing such a program.
Even at 6 hours a day, we spend enough time at our jobs that job satisfaction is a significant portion of your overall life satisfaction. I'm all for 6 hour work days, but the more important point by far is making the content of our jobs engaging and enjoyable.
"Cheaper labor willing to work more" is how I read that, and the antithesis of efforts to reduce the work week.
I'd prefer US law be tailored to incentivize US companies to employ US sourced labor, where our labor law can further ratchet the work week down (we're already incredibly productive compared to 40 years ago, but wages have been stagnant ; we've already earned a reduction in the work week we haven't gotten). I wouldn't want our country to export environmental pollution or labor externalities like child sweatshops, and in the same way, I would want to prevent our multinationals subjugating employees outside of our country's internal labor regulatory framework.
Somewhat relevant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8afqoDL3Qsk
Don't worry though, it's not just immigrants to the US. I emigrated from the US and to be completely honest I still work hard but not with the underlying worry I always had just a little bit of before I secured my status more permanently.
This also pisses me off. We can only have things to be "more productive." If we always had this attitude then we'd never have the weekend.
I imagine its the most politically acceptable way to sell this argument. "Sure, we're all going home at 3, but hey, the businesses still make money so why not?"
I suspect management's ancient ideas of "meetings" and "face time" are killing this little revolution. A lot of middle managers are little more than meetings bullshitters and cutting their main value is going to scare them.
I only have 2 super rich(1M+/yr) in my life, and they are always working. I only see them during holidays and the occasional grad party.
Their son told me that his dad worked so many hours that he totaled 2 cars in a week due to sleep deprivation.
Maybe second generation is lazy, but I'm not sure where this idea that 'super rich' dont work come from.
Seems like the trend in the US is for lower and middle classes working more hours and having less to show for it: https://www.epi.org/publication/ib348-trends-us-work-hours-w...
As for the New Zealand study thats frequently cited as a 'success' it was only an 8 week trial.
It reminds me of universal basic income - populist ideology that appeals to people who want more free shit.
Who are these 'I want free stuff' people? I keep hearing them mentioned as some sort of strawman, but no one can really find me any large groups of these people demanding free stuff. Most people realize taxes pay for welfare benefits.
It also appeals to people who want to eliminate 20 government and various state agencies for a single entity. We already have many convoluted forms of welfare, why not simplify it?
The whole point of a government is to benefit the welfare of its civilians.
It's pretty much everyone. It's just that everyone also knows you can't actually go into a political debate with "GIVE ME FREE STUFF" and expect to get very far. But of course we all want free stuff. I want free stuff. I've got the discipline to know better than to vote for it (because for one thing I know there is no such thing as "free"), but I damned well want it.
But of course there's plenty of BI advocates who want free stuff. You can find plenty of people musing on how they'd live on nothing but the BI in any conversation on HN, if they could.
In the US, given the production-yields of present agricultural technology, only 1% of the population would need to be employed to feed 100% of the population. That seems pretty "free."
I don't know how it would work out for other things (housing, clothing, etc.) but I expect it would be similar (with e.g. at most 10% of the population needing to work to support 100% of the population, which is less than the percentage of people who want to work regardless of personal necessity.)
In other words: we've already nearly reached post-scarcity. We should probably figure out a way to take advantage of that.
It isn't just economic "free" that I'm worried about. I have low and ever-decreasing confidence that BI wouldn't get tied to not expressing politically incorrect opinions on Facebook or something as we continue our march towards speech control. And I mean that just as one example. I have no confidence in the ability of our superhumanly ethical and temptation-resistent benevolent government administrators to hand out ~$10T/year and never, ever, ever have the bright idea of starting to tie it to something.
I'm an outlier in HN terms, so to translate that to HN terms, "Donald Trump, or his philosophical successor, is going to administer your BI program. Does that sound like a good idea? Do you really think it's going to be 'free'?"
The reality is that the work day is based on an arbitrary factory schedule. There's no reason to maintain it. Moving to 6 hours or 4 days absolutely works. Its just going to be less people padding their time on reddit and facebook.
If both are valid possibilities, this suggests a selection bias regarding the arguments.
"Halsted promoted several very important concepts and practices in residency training: graded responsibility, a variable and lengthy training period, a pyramidal system of promotion, a resident's ward service, and, most pertinent to this article, a restrictive lifestyle. This last concept of a restrictive lifestyle meant that residents truly resided in the hospital. They received little or no pay, were discouraged from marriage, and worked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. At first, the Halstedian model was more the exception than the rule but gradually became more common, especially after World War II when more surgeons wanted to be trained and certified for both the prestige and financial rewards."
The Halsted is William Halsted, a workaholic lifetime cocaine addict: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Stewart_Halsted
Like 1 million malnourished people in Africa dying fast vs 1 million somewhat overweight software engineers with healthcare benefits?
So what happens when you factor in fit people (which the US is probably short of anyway)?