Saturday, August 8, 2020

Innovating the work week?

An illustration of data flow. 😅

Who else thinks innovating the workweek is a good idea, during the pandemic work from home? I am seriously considering that. The approach is simple. Rather than Monday - Friday, you choose your own workweek, making sure you don't have meetings and responsibilities for the regular weekday that you select as your "weekend" day. It could be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. This thought is not entirely new to me. That is precisely what I did in Portugal during my Ph.D., because movie theaters, parks, and beaches were emptier on Wednesday than on a Sunday. However, there are a few challenges to emulate this. First, unlike me during my Ph.D. time (my Ph.D. supervisor is the most understanding professor ever, and we knew each others' work styles very well), students may not have that luxury and freedom. Besides, collaborations and other responsibilities will most likely prevent the majority of employees from attempting this. But I still think this could be an interesting option if supported by the employer, especially during the pandemic WFH. Before COVID19 WFH, I also worked 7:25 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. every day. In Atlanta, I rarely did the 995 (9 a.m. - 5 p.m., 5-day workweek) anyway as I like to start and finish earlier. Now, my times are quite stretched as I work from home alone. I start around 8 - 9 a.m. and go until late. 

There are a few EU countries that have adopted or planning to adopt a 4-day workweek. Interestingly, in Asia, it is going in the other direction towards a 6-day work week, including weird systems such as 996 (9 a.m. - 9 p.m., 6 days). In the future, if I happen to create my own company, I will consider our own workweek, with seven days of work followed by three days of "weekend", making a long week of 10 days, innovating the calendar altogether. Then, every weekend will be a long weekend, while maintaining the same work hours per month. During one of the upcoming weeks, I will try a weekend workday and split my weekend into 2, with either Saturday and Tuesday off, or Sunday and Wednesday off. I will see how that goes.

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