Just one major nit...
(This is directed not only to OP, but to everyone in our industry.)
Raising funding != success.
As inspiring as this post was, it would have been so much better with a title like:
"We work a 4-day week and just satisfied 10,000 new customers."
"We work a 4-day week and just realized $10m new profit."
Great work, guys. But please don't allow this "success" to let you take your focus away from the real metrics. I assume you already know this, but every once in a while, it still nice to say that which should go without saying.
There are a gazillion profitable software businesses. Some work reasonable hours.
There are very few funded software businesses and I can think of exactly zero that work 4-day work weeks.
I think Ryan's path is an awesome one. Step #1- get internet famous. Pay your dues, run conferences, build a popular blog, become a thought leader. Not a ton of equity to be built doing this, but it's a solid business. Step #2- Build a product tailored to the audience you've created. Step #3 - Tell everyone how effortless Step #2 is. :-) 37Signals took this path. Sarah Lacey did, too-- with PandoDaily. Om Malik is now an (awesome) partner at True Ventures (after being a really well regarded writer and entrepreneur with GigaOm). Edit: Actually, it could be argued that Patio11 of HackerNews took this path (but perhaps not on purpose).
To be entirely clear-- I'm not being sarcastic. I think this is a smart/awesome path. Not much gives you more leverage than an big audience that's chock full of influencers.
I fully agree with you.
I don't equate raising money with success. 10k paying customers speaks for itself.
Congrats to Treehouse on raising the funding necessary to continue expanding the business and delighting customers. Bollocks to the haters who have no clue on how to build a business.
Go tell that to DHH :)
I personally like it more this way:
"Profiting is absolutely a milestone on the journey to success."
Different perspectives, I guess. No hate.
This is what's preventing me from going 4 days a week.
We're going to hire more support folks so we can start rotating the Team and give them true 4-day weeks.
I never understood this american obsession with "customer support" anyway. In my country we almost NEVER call "customer support" for software and web services. What would they tell you? Which buttons to click?
I'm curious how it works in your country. What would a non-technical user do if they had a problem? What if you're a paying user of a web service and you start having a problem with it?
With the exception of disruptions of service, 99% of such problems are on the client side.
Come to think of it, one reason is that most software companies don't provide call centers and tech support in my country/language anyway (with a few exceptions, like MS, Adobe and of course the enterprisey stuff), and calling abroad would incur some major costs, especially if you are put in waiting. So, we learned not to rely on technical support at all.
What we have found here in the UK, is without profitability, raising an A-round is near enough impossible. The UK Start-up/Inventment scene is still very much in it's infancy and investors are reluctant to give sums anywhere near the figure Ryan has quoted without a 'profitable' business. Well done to the team for creating a fantastic service all whilst spending time with family, highly commendable!
I'm obviously being facetious and while I don't want to be "that guy" dismissing what appears to be a very respectable business, mentioning revenue & customer numbers without mentioning profit values or percentages irks me.
This is probably because of 8 seasons of Dragon's Den and 3 seasons of Shark Tank that have impressed upon me just how few people understand that a large turnover means nothing; "turnover is vanity; profit is sanity". It's not easy to achieve a large turnover, sure, but it's also meaningless unless it is associated with a reasonable net profit.
Having read through a few more comments I suspect the author's business is probably turning a decent net profit, but, nevertheless, the post seems incomplete without this data or at least some form of confirmation (e.g. "our net profit is between 10-20%").
EDIT: On HackerNews, a place for entrepreneurs and consequently the presumably financially literate, I'm being downvoted for pointing out that terms are missing from the profit & loss equation being presented, with nobody stepping up to explain why there's something wrong with my criticism?
EDIT: it only takes one or two people out of all HN users to make it look like everyone's against you, so I try not to take DVs to heart.
I think it's great to be excited at the potential for success, and the reason I come to HN is because it is invigorating and motivating to see the success of others, and to learn from their experiences.
However we must not forget that the vast majority of small businesses fail. In the best case, that's the entrepreneur's money and time expended; hopefully on the upside some lessons were learned and the financial hit is not too bad. In the worst case, it can be the life savings of investors that may be family and friends, as well as relationships, that are lost; furthermore, bankruptcy is a distinct possibility. So, my feeling is this is extremely serious stuff that requires direct, hard-hitting commentary - not a softened message that's potentially easily dismissed.
Business is combative - it's always competitive. If people are quick to ignore the realities of the most basic details of business (the profit & loss equation), and take offence when that criticism is presented, does that not seem a bit of a concern? Would you invest in somebody like that?
Profitability is more important.
There are examples to the contrary (Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, etc) but if you're profitable this means you are providing a worthy service (unless you're in the 'Nigerian Prince' business), and people are willing to pay you!
Never underestimate the power of people actually paying you.
As for the age-old debate of profitability vs fundraising, it's not a black and white issue. And I don't know why people so often feel the need to try and turn it into one.
Profitability is great. You're right -- it's a signal that you're providing a valuable service. But as you pointed out, there are many examples to the contrary, and rightly-so: because achieving profitability is not the only way to build a valuable business. And even for companies who do focus on charging customers rather than, say, getting tons of users, raising money is often an important step on the path to eventual success.
It is not possible to build a valuable business without achieving profitability. Over a long-enough time period, the value of a non-profitable business will revert to zero.
If a business is valuable, it is because the market (or investors) believe either
a.) It is going to make profits at some point in the future. b.) It is going to be an attractive acquisition for another company (who are presumably only going to buy it if they believe it will enhance their long term profitability).
Of course there is c.) , which is when investors buy into something because they believe someone else will come and buy it off them in the future for a greater amount of money. If we've reached this point, it is a sure sign of a bubble (cf Tulip fever in the Netherlands).
It really isn't.
Some of us invest in things because we expect that in the long run the pay-off will be greater than the investment. In business terms, that means that the cost of buying into a company is less than the profit you are expecting to realise through dividends over the long run.
The idea (modern trend?) of having companies that pay no dividends, whose shares are valuable only because someone else might buy them for more money later, seems to me to be exactly what tomgallard said: a sure sign of a bubble.
I've often wondered why we allow companies, particularly publicly traded ones, to sit on an ever-growing war chest rather than paying out their profits to investors as dividends. I don't know enough grown-up economics to appreciate the realistic consequences of regulating that kind of behaviour, but the zero-dividend, war-chest approach seems to promote all the wrong behaviours in terms of markets and investors, assuming your goal is to have a healthy economy that promotes making useful products and providing useful services.
Because we believe that a large, successful company has investment options available to it that are not available to Joe Average, and can achieve a better return on that capital for its investors than they would be able to achieve themselves if it were returned immediately as a dividend. If you disagree with that analysis, you can easily vote with your investment dollars.
What I'm asking is whether we should allow them to exercise those options. Doing so, as you hinted in your own comment, means that large companies have to become skilled investors, and this will inevitably become a significant or even the dominant part of their existence instead of actually making useful things or providing useful services.
As we've observed all too recently, not all of those extra investment options are quite as effective as they were supposed to be. Moreover, any investment option that is legitimate could probably offered to (now richer) individual investors if large companies were not allowed to use it. So I'm not sure where the big downside is of restoring the natural links between companies that do socially useful things like make good products, companies that make profits, and companies that are attractive to outside investors when they need extra funding to grow faster.
Alternatively, if these companies are going to be allowed to invest their profits on behalf of their own shareholders, perhaps it's about time they were regulated as financial institutions. If nothing else, shareholders should be protected from senior management who are erroneously convinced that they can do a better job gambling^Winvesting their shareholders' profits than the shareholders themselves can do of choosing where to spend a legitimate return on their investment.
Large companies carrying trading/gambling departments not related to the rest of their business is, as you say, probably not a good thing.
If it's no dividend, then the stock is only valuable as a flip-asset. If it's got any dividend at all, then the stock has real value as an income stream.
"Tiny bubbles... In the whine..."
Funding is great, but the above sounds like a better measure of success to me.
Is 'the Bank just lent us $ million' as impressive as 'we reached profitability?
It certainly shouldn't be.
Tech press looks at funding and the stable of investors as validation that a company is worth covering. "How much money have you taken?" and "Who are your investors?" seem to rank above covering how the tech works or if it's unique, both for journalists and for prospective acquirers.
It's been my experience that folk are very good at deceiving themselves about their productivity (myself included :-)
One team I worked with had a serious problem with overtime. They were putting in stupid hours and it was showing in the quality of work going out. So I ran an experiment where we all agreed to work "normal" hours for six weeks.
I was "only" working about 45 hours a week at this point, when other people on the team were regularly working 50-60. I was relatively young, didn't have any family pressure, enjoyed my work and felt very productive doing those hours. I wasn't one of the people with a "problem" as I saw it. We were running the experiment for the other folk on the team.
In the experiment we dropped to a 40 hours week (6 hours coding per day, 2 hours for breaks, meetings & lunch). After a couple of weeks adjustment my productivity went way up. I also felt a lot better in myself - generally sharper and more on the ball.
People seem to have quite a wide bad of "this feels okay" that subsumes the much narrower "I'm performing at my best".
Also people don't jump from a 35 hour week to 60 hours a week. It creeps up a few minutes at a time as pressure increases on the team. People have enough time to adjust to it being "normal" and don't notice the drop in productivity that goes with it.
Currently I work roughly 25-30 hours a week and am just as productive by all metrics that I have available to me as when I worked 40-50.
I would strongly urge people to experiment. Pick some metrics, try working shorter hours for a month, see what happens.
(The only caveat I would add is that with folks doing silly hours - anything over 50 I would say - there is often a couple of weeks where things go to hell as the body adjusts. On the team from the story practically everybody caught a bug and felt crap for the first week or so before productivity rose again).
I fell ill 3 times in the following 3 months, and I was on holidays! Previously I hadn't been sick for years. After a bit of researching I discovered after a period of intense stress, it's pretty common to get sick once you remove that stress.
Do you have any links to that research?
The only area we're currently battling the non-4-day-week is with our Support Team. They're currently working 4-day weeks plus about 3 hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
We're hoping to scale that part of the Team so they can get on the 4-day week as well.
And we don't do it to be nice. We do it to be efficient.
It's easy to think this is impressive, but the reader forgets about the number of years Ryan has worked on creating businesses. He has made awesome stuff, but all that time can't be ignored. The suggestion that others can easily do it too if only they were less "messed up/caught up in old manufacturing ways", is some smug shit.
These crazy hard-working Americans are trying to figure out their first startup, with very limited resources. It's a different game, and they are in a different place in the food chain.
I am sure if they too have sold multiple companies and worked in the industry for 10+ (?) years, they too would adopt all kinds of relaxed ways of working and running firms. I agree that if they still work long hours after that, it is misguided as you point out.
But lets not get carried away with how the 1% works. How many days a week did you work on your first company?
This proves it's possible, even when you're young, stressed and unprofitable.
You say that as if it was a bad thing.
People need fun. It makes them feel better. People who feel better work better and are more productive. I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that an extra day of fun makes the four days more productive than the five days of work.
Hours worked is a lousy way to measure the contribution a person makes to the organisation.
Maybe you need to get out of the office more, bud.
What I think happened here is that you did a number of things right which affords you this flexibility in hours. I would say the real story is that you made something of value vs the free-but-pointless model we read about much more often these days. You built a business around something valuable with a relatively high price point that makes it less of a victim of the kind of scalability issues that "general public" web based services are dealing with.
I think the bigger take away would be:
If you make something awesome for the general public that millions of people will be using all day long, plan to work seven days a week 'round the clock and there's no guarantee you'll ever see a penny. If you come up with something valuable that people would be willing to pay $25-$50 a month for, your life will be much, much more enjoyable and you might actually get to watch your kids grow up and/or have some time left for your hobbies.
I don't know how he did it, but his posts suggest he built the company this way, not just introduced it as a working practice later on. Maybe some employees will post here what they actually worked... although I don't doubt there were weeks that were more than 4 days.
But that aside, I have my own project, I won't call it a startup yet. I work on it evenings and weekends, maybe that adds up to 2 days per week total, the rest of the time I freelance to earn $.
So for me, Ryan is not just providing an aspiration of work/life balance, but actually that you can build a company in the first place without having to work 7 days per week.
At the time three other companies wanted me to work for them doing web design & development. And each of them had the 60hr a week, no overtime attitude that they were emulating from American companies. However they were not emulating the benefits of these American companies, at no point was a shareholding or options mentioned.
The money was good but I don't think i would have had the time to spend it.
So the smallest company offered me less money but agreed to four days a week. And I agreed. The 2 years I spent represents one of the most productive periods in my working life.
It also gave me time to develop my own ideas on the side while gaining great start-up experience.
Since then I've worked for other companies and myself sometimes pulling 80-100 hours a week. And after a couple of prolonged periods of this I Burned out.
Twice in the past decade.
No amount of cash, shares or experience was worth being burned out.
Now-a-days I do about 4-4.5 days a week, on a contract basis and once again I'm more productive and creative than I have been in 15 years.
'After five years of six-hour work days, the company brass concluded that the "burden (or overhead) unit cost was reduced 25% . . . labor unit costs reduced 10% . . . accidents reduced 41% . . . the severity of accidents (days lost per incident) improved 51% . . . [and] 39% more people were working at Kellogg's than in 1929."'
Both times, it worked. When I tried tracking various arbitrary metrics of effectiveness (bugs fixed, commits made, files touched etc.) I found no real difference to working full-time.
I also spent one month working one day a week. During that month my effectiveness also stayed roughly constant, although I sacrificed almost everything that wasn't communication or coding for that month.
My focus during the working times was much higher. I never wasted time writing HN comments when I only had 4 hours to get my work done.
It was also more stressful than working full-time. Everyone else in the company still spent 35 hours a week generating email and commit traffic, which meant I felt I was always playing catch-up with that aspect.
I'd be interested to see what it's like when everyone in the company works a 4 day week.
Sounds like you never were doing more than 4 hours work.
Also, why 9-6? Is that a magic number? What about 10 to 5? Is that worse substantially? I doubt it. There's another 22% of your time with your kids back.
I'm pretty sure that we're going to look back at office buildings and the idea of commutes in general as being a huge waste of time.
Unless you're physically manipulating things, there's no reason for it, and it wastes an immense amount of society's resources maintaining millions of square feet of office space. Think of the number of people you could house in the average office building.
I'll be the first to agree that requiring bums on seats, just because, isn't helping anyone. Likewise, holding all-hands meetings where most people have better things to do and only 25% of the room cares about what is being discussed at any given moment is rarely a good investment of time.
On the other hand, having live interactions with colleagues and real face time is vastly more productive in some contexts than having everyone call into a Skype conference/available on IM/screen-sharing. Communication is simply much more efficient face-to-face than over any remote channel. If you have more than two or three people who need to work closely together, then body language really matters, and the ability to do simple things like scribble a diagram on a bit of paper or have a couple of guys step out for a minute to work through some details without holding up the rest of the group is indispensable.
(I have similar views on flexible hours, BTW. If you allow complete flexibility, to the point where you can no longer rely on the "early" guys overlapping with the "late" guys for more than a token amount of time, communication because a significant burden.)
This doesn't mean everyone needs to be in the office full-time, of course, and I'm all in favour of allowing telecommuting and flexible hours when there's no reason not to. But having people who need to work closely together in the same place for a significant chunk of the working week can have a lot of benefits, and IMHO is not a useless tradition at all.
I've seen the problems with telecommuting that you describe, but I think it's attributable to culture and expectations. If you're adding a layer of telecommuting to a business that's already got well-established conventions for operating out of an office, and all of the baseline expectations, communication channels, feedback cycles, etc. are adapted to face-to-face interaction, then telecommuting probably isn't going to work well, because the telecommuters are going to be significantly out of step with the rest of the company.
If you want it to work, you may actually need to eliminate the office, replace it with a core set of online tools, e.g. wikis, message boards, IRC channels, and force all internal communication through those media, until a new set of conventions and expectations emerge that optimizes 'virtual office' productivity.
If I'm talking face-to-face with a couple of other guys, or sitting at my desk with a colleague looking over my shoulder to give me a second opinion on something I'm working on, we don't need one of us to be speaking 100% of the time. The advantage is that you can have instant feedback when it's helpful, which I find is quite often.
If there's a larger meeting going on with a whole group of participants, then hopefully those participants were given enough information to prepare properly in advance, and hopefully someone is in the chair to moderate the discussion and ensure that the pace is sensible and everyone is able to contribute. That's another thing that becomes very much harder when phone lines and network connections are involved, IME.
Your point seems to be that smarter people tend to spend more time listening and thinking and less time talking. I completely agree. I just don't think meeting face-to-face necessarily prevents that. Sometimes you want to compare/evolve ideas at high speed or explain/learn something interactively, and being in the same place helps with that IME. Sometimes you want one person to consider an issue deeply and then report their findings, and maybe a formal document that other people can read, at their own pace and wherever they happen to be, is a better choice in that case. But working in the same location doesn't prevent that either.
Also, there isn't a requirement to come in to the 'office' unless you're on our Video Team (which requires you to be at the Studio to shoot video).
In general on the product team at Treehouse we try to keep any real-time interaction (IM, video conversations on GoToMeeting) in those 9AM - 6PM hours just to help everyone have some predictable time for collaboration, but overall things are super flexible.
Because of the evidence that co-located teams perform better than distributed ones in many situations? See http://delicious.com/adrianh/colocation for some refs.
If people have references to research (rather than anecdotes) that counter this I'd love to see 'em. I mostly work remotely myself - but I completely understand organisations that don't want to work that way.
I am mostly playing devils advocate: I think having a 4 day work week is a fantastic recruitment tool. I do wonder though if a young startup raising it's seed financing said "oh, we only work 4 days a week" an investor may raise eyebrows. Regardless, this is a fantastic example of Ryan Carsons' culture resonating throughout the company.
I can imagine a few good answers:
* We need to keep the team: A four day week is a major reason they don't get poached. It's a benevolent lock in. Almost nobody else does this. Just reducing team churn to practically zero probably pays for the extra day in of itself (recruiting is time consuming and expensive).
* We need to grow the team: We need to get more people in a very competitive hiring market. Having three days of your own each week is a major USP for the company. It lets us attract and recruit the best.
* In my experience productivity actually drops if a team works longer hours. I've had teams produce more after moved from about 50 hours coding to about 30 hours coding a week. People suck at estimating how productive they are.
If you redefine a workday as 1/6th of 40 hours, then I do 6 days worth of work in 5 days.
The number of days isn't really that important when talking numbers. It's only important when talking psychology. You're more rested after a 3 day break, etc etc.
After a little longer at this company, I may suggest it here. I'd make it clear they're getting the same number of hours, but I'll be happier and more refreshed each week (and more productive), so everyone wins. I don't think it's quite the right time yet, though.
Doing some quick calcs:
$3MM Revenue / 34 employees = $88,235 per employee.
In most major US cities, that wouldn't even cover the base salary of an skilled employee. Not to mention benefits, payroll taxes, etc. Add this to all the equipment costs, office rental space, etc. and they must be operating at a loss.
I've heard that most VCs/Angels consider a company profitable only if they're making an average of $200K/year per employee.
Under these circumstances, it's clear why they took funding because it provides some breathing room for another year or so till they reach true profitability.
Even so, it's still commendable that they're able to hold on to their ideals of a 4-day workweek given their current circumstances.
VCs are looking at their ROI, so their view on profitability is based on what they might have in the company - that shouldn't skew the fact that a company might actually be profitable, and with time and growth they will meet those numbers as well.
Only if by "most major US cities" you mean San Francisco and New York exclusively. The vast majority of the United States would still be happy to make $88,000/year!
If you're wondering how to get a job like that, here's what I did. Apply for job adverts intended for a rank lower than you're currently at. If you have senior level experience, apply for mid-level positions and say that you can do the same amount of work in less time. Explain that you bring more value, pound for pound, than a less experienced developer.
We (as a society) need to start changing to a 4 day week.
Doubling the minimum wage at the same time, apparently. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Ford#The_five-dollar_work...
It basically gives everyone on our team no excuse to not contribute to open source, work on side projects, etc. It's still a pretty new initiative for us, but we're seeing big benefits already internally.
I currently work a 4 day week (4x10 hour days) allowing a whole extra day to focus on external activities and interests that i dont get to fully peruse at work due to contraints and/or conflict of interest.
It's such a big change in life style and as Ryan mentioned in the article it fosters such good energy and a totally refreshed feel come a monday morning.
And again just like the employee mentioned in the article it's such a benefit that I wouldn't even consider a move in companies unless it was matched like for like (or better).
The problem with taking Friday off is that it would make my social life incompatible with the people who are aren't. I'd be off doing my weekend things whilst everyone else would be hitting the bars and clubs. Having Monday off would let me finally make better use of my Sundays, and losing Monday night isn't a big deal because it's not normally a big night anyway.
Ryan Carson is a very well seasoned businessman which i assume is more than financially capable of putting money into a business and clearly has what you'd easily define as a successful business, to me it seems like theres some kind of weakness somewhere if based on those very advantageous circumstances you need to go out and raise money.
When I started my first company, I worked 5-days a week for the first year or so, when it was just me. Then before we hired our first employee, we switched to the 4-day week.
I totally agree with this mentality, but unfortunately it doesn't work for everyone's business model. Furthermore, I would be willing to bet that a majority of my time beyond the 4-day week I currently is the extra time I spend having to deal with inadequate colleagues (whether they be clients or co-workers).
This model works if you have a group of very smart and talented individuals. Finding this 'zen' is extremely difficult...not because it doesn't take hard work, but rather there is a small dosage of luck around it. It also doesn't scale very well, as communication overhead begins to seep into that additional 'hour' of work.
That being said, work-life balance is much more tolerable in Europe/UK, and people are generally more productive here. The US is a purely service-based model now, where soft skills (which are largely time-unmanageable) are king.
Congrats on the funding. You must be chuffed :)
You've made a good trade. Time is one of the few things we can never get more of once its gone. And the short 10 years or so of prime time with young kids is especially unique. As almost any parent of grown kids will say, its gone before you know it.
I definitely agree that 4 truly productive focused days of works beats 5 lackluster uncreative and unfocused days and I applaud creative work/life balance ideas. But, I think 5 truly productive focused days of works beats 4. As PG says, if you think of a startup as a chance to compress your whole working life to just a few years, you can probably attain that prolonged productivity at least for a few years. Yes, worry about burnout, give yourself time, etc... But one of the things startups do to beat big companies is outproduce them.
Obviously for lifestyle businesses and probably a variety of industries this may not apply. YMMV
Obviously Treehouse is doing fantastically on the revenue front. What big company are trying to "beat" or "outproduce" exactly?
Why not 'work' at home? I've worked at home for the last 5 or 6 years, and get to spend pretty much all my time with my kids. Now that's insane.
I have two kids. I work from home about 10% of the time. When I'm working from home, I have more time for the kids first thing in the morning and when I come home, since the commute is just opening the door. But when I'm WFH, it's not kid-time.
You can be looking after kids, whilst designing in your mind what you need to do next, planning out what code needs writing and how to solve problems.
Sure, every so often I'll take myself away to a separate room if I need to work on something with my full attention, but that's rare.
I don't feel the need to separate my life into "work" and "not work". I just do things when they need doing and when I feel like I want to do them.
(Just my 2c, YMMV).
Since I work remotely most of the time, I also try not to separate "work" and "personal" time. However, in order to stay productive, more often than not I need to sit in a separate room because being productive (mainly for pushing out deliverables) requires me to be sitting away from my child.
It is about working smarter and more efficiently. Diminishing costs are often forgotten. Working smarter also empowers your staff.
Now, where do I send my CV?
As if, when you have no kids, you've obviously to work more and earn less.
In general, you have no kids because you realized that you wouldn't have enough money for them to get everything they need / it's too risky.
And that doesn't mean you don't work as well. In general it means you've taken more morally adequate decisions and less financially adequate decisions in your life.
To the article I am glad to see them get funding. I use the service and think its great.
I think a 4 day work week can definitely work, especially with motivation and guarding against burn out. Main issue is that the rest of the world works 5 days a week which in many sectors can create problems.
But if you have a lot of external dependencies, and need to interface with suppliers and customers on a regular basis, a 4-day workweek can really into the amount of time you have available to do so.
Side note: I wish there was a site like "The Setup" focused on the next phase -- "how do I work".
We just have one Wednesday guys who swears by it, but im a Monday remoter and it's my jam. To each his own.
Ryan mentioned employee retention and even though I work from home during my non office day, it's definitely a huge factor when other opportunities come knocking at my door.
But, that said, I'm surprised that no one has mentioned here that M-Th, 9-6 isn't a 4-day week, unless you include a required lunch hour, which most don't. So, since you didn't mention that, and I'm fairly sure that you work through lunch as many do including myself, then 9-6 M-Th is 36 hours, which is 4.5 "normal" 8-hour workdays.
I challenge you to be profitable working 32 hours a week (the equivalent of 4 8-hour workdays), preferably using flex time (so people can work those hours whenever they wish) and allowing telecommuting whenever the employee desires, and still be profitable.
We also don't all work 9-6. It's a guideline that we use to help us know when we should be available for collaborating with others on the team, but I generally start at 8 AM and end at 5 PM each day.
A whole lot of our team works remotely or at least has the option to, but our video production generally requires that we be on site to produce our videos at the quality we want. Even with the people who need to be in the office there's a decent amount time spent away from the office, though. All of our developers and designers who work on the site work remotely.
How did you convince your VCs that it's okay to work 4 day work weeks when the Valley famously continues to call for startups to work non-stop night and day?
We're going to scale this part of the Team soon so they can switch to a real 4-day week.
We're also going to find people to join this Team who are in Austra-lasia so we can cover those hours as well.
I'm too wondering if we should hire people in US to handle support (to cover those timzeones), but I'm afraid if they will get the company culture, and feel part of the team. Your thoughts on having a remote team?
The reason the author SHOUTS the TWENTY percent is that it's actually 50%! (3 days off versus two). The only thing that's 20% is the number of your old days that you now don't work. (You also used to work 25% more days than now).
Switzerland has school 4 days a week. Its students are doing better in various subjects than schools in the rest of the world, but not better than Northern Europe which has much heavier school schedules.
The point is, the number of days you work just doesn't matter.