Tuesday, July 4, 2023

8 Days a Week

"Eight Days a Week" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles. It was written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon based on McCartney's original idea. The song was released in the United Kingdom in December 1964 on the album Beatles for Sale. In the United States, it was first issued as a single in February 1965 before appearing on the North American release Beatles VI. The song was the band's seventh number 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100, a run of US chart success achieved in just over a year. The single was also number 1 in Canada, Belgium and the Netherlands.

McCartney credited the title to a chauffeur who once drove him to Lennon's house in Weybridge. In the Beatles Anthology book, he states: "I usually drove myself there, but the chauffeur drove me out that day and I said, 'How've you been?' – 'Oh working hard,' he said, 'working eight days a week.'"

Today is July 4th, 2023. A major holiday here in the USA. Major holiday on a Tuesday. So, yesterday was a "kinda not working day" and today is "definitely not working day" and tomorrow will be a "driving back home / flying back home" day. 

All of this got me to thinking about the Four-Day Workweek concept. 

A four-day workweek is a work flexibility concept where employees work fewer hours (typically 32 to 36 hours per week) across four working days. Employees get a three-day weekend every week.

A four-day workweek can improve employees' health in numerous ways, from reducing anxiety and stress to enabling better sleep and more time for exercise. It can also improve workers' quality of life by giving people more time for personal priorities like spending quality time with family, friends, and pets, and caregiving.

A four-day workweek can also increase productivity. Even though a four-day workweek is still 40 hours worth of work, an employee may feel less overworked than their counterparts who work more of a traditional schedule. At the very least, these employees usually maintain the same productivity level.

However, putting in too much time at work, even for short stints, can lead to stress, burnout, disconnect, scheduling conflicts, and bigger bills.

If you're a salaried employee, a four-day work week would likely mean you get more time off while receiving the same pay. If you're an hourly employee, there could be changes to overtime pay.

Experts say that Wednesday is the best day to take off work for a four-day work week.

Wednesdays are considered the best for reducing stress and minimizing burnout. The pace of life on the weekend versus the work week helps explain why it feels hard to get back in the groove on Monday morning.

However, accountemps discovered that Monday and Tuesday are the two most productive days of the week for employees. Specifically, 39 percent of human resources managers think employees get the most done on Tuesdays, while 24 percent believe productivity peaks on Mondays.

If business needs allow it, a boss might explore letting employees choose which day off they have every week. If too many employees want one day over the other, one might need to switch up schedules to meet business needs and make everyone happy.

At my company, we figure 8 hour days, 5 days a week, 4.3 weeks in a month = 172 hours over a calendar month. So we figure that as long as we are tracking to produce 172 hours per month, we don't care which DAYS of the week are worked. Take off Fridays. Take off Wednesdays. Work a few hours over the weekend, or evenings. Up to you. As long as we are producing 172 hours (on average) people can manage their own calendars. Your mileage may vary. 

Overall, I am a big fan of ROWE - Results Only Work Environments. I don't think that you should get paid for an hour, but paid for the results that you bring to the hour. "Do I need to attend that meeting?" I don't know - do you? Can you do your job if you don't attend the meeting? Or better put - was that meeting even necessary - for anyone? Maybe send a Loom, rather than host a Zoom? Was that another meeting that could have been an email? Ahem. 

And so, I wrote this blog, usually my Sunday Blog, on a Tuesday. A major national holiday. This blog was Born on the 4th of July. 

Happy Birthday, America! 

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