[We update this post with new ideas from our co-founder and coo, William Hayden. To see the posts live, add William on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/william-hayden-328486121]
July 22, 2021: Take Your Time To Put In Time
I’m thinking about this opinion piece from The New York Times: 8 Hours a Day, 5 Days a Week Is Not Working for Us
For this week, my [Radical] Corporate Policy Idea is about how the days we work are scheduled. My name for it: Take Your Time To Put In Time.
Too many people’s personal schedules fluctuate based on their employer’s needs, and nearly 1/3rd of Americans clocked in more than 45 hours a week pre-pandemic. Studies show that working extra hours doesn’t mean generating more output.
Now, there’s a two-sided problem for employers: nearly 50% of people don’t want to return to the office full-time, but remote work has created longer days for the average worker that lead to burnout. Over decades, we’ve seen that the only way to achieve a work-life balance is by working less. So what if we made sure people could really own their schedules?
If we offer employees the ability to determine not just where they work, but how much work they do and when they do it, we have an opportunity to create stronger communities, better culture, and increased output with less exhaustion. Because if people are happy to work with you, they’ll get the job done.
Who’s against that?
July 14, 2021: Single-Use Fridays
In 2019, Microsoft Japan did a one-month test of a 3-day weekend and saw productivity increase by 40%.
This edition of [Radical] Corporate Policy of the Week aims to make the idea even more palatable to employers.
Let’s call it Single-Use Fridays.
At AMP, we’ve realized that a lot of the best and most fruitful experiences for team members happen outside of work: in our social hours, activities, family time, and extracurriculars. So what if we allocate a full workday to enabling just one of those experiences?
Here’s how we’d structure it: Every week, team members let us know what Friday activity they’ve booked for themselves. These can include educational sessions (we’ll pay), events (we’ll pay), activities with new people, or something else (we’ll let people decide what counts). That’ll be the only thing we need on Fridays. The rest of it can be for laundry or side hustles or something.
My bet is that we’ll have more productive weeks in just 4 days, less burnout, less energy consumption in the office, and that the days off will pay it forward with great opportunities for our business. Shoutout to Henry Taylor on the golf course.
July 6, 2021: Employee Self-Direction In Roles and Responsibilities
Something on my mind: Gallup’s 2021 U.S. Employee Engagement survey showed that, despite a tumultuous 2020, the percentage of U.S. employees engaged in their work increased to 39%.
Over the past few years, the percentage of engaged employees has seen slow and steady growth. But if over 60% of workers still aren’t engaged, slow and steady growth isn’t good enough. Employers need to think about what can get those numbers up faster.
So here’s another [Radical] Corporate Policy Idea of the Week:
Employee self-direction in roles and responsibilities.
As humans, we have interests, gifts, and abilities that energize us. We know what work we gravitate towards, and those are the areas we’re most likely to excel in. Burnout happens when our daily tasks are mentally and physically exhausting because we aren’t interested in them. So employers who encourage team members to say “I’d prefer not to” can then channel the strengths of people to create a more engaged workplace — one where personal design in roles and responsibilities means happier, excellent teams.
Ask us how it’s working at AMP — accelerator, tech studio, community. (And yes, that was a Bartelby the Scrivener reference above)
June 28, 2021: Encouraging Employee Entrepreneurship
Here’s a telling stat: 53% of Americans would leave their industry (not just their job, the whole industry) if they could.
Here’s my [Radical] Corporate Policy idea of the week: Organizations should actively encourage employees to start businesses in their free time.
In the digital-native era, people have an opportunity to monetize their passions; employers shouldn’t take that away. If employees have the flexibility to pursue entrepreneurship outside company time, my bet is they’ll appreciate the security of their day job, perform better at it, and report higher satisfaction at the company.
Bonus points for leaders who lean in to support former employees turned full-time entrepreneurs (my past employers included).