Work when you want
In this new world that I’m occupying where I’ve completely cut out app-based news and in fact the BBC pretty much (at least entirely on apps because of the sensational nature of the reporting) and I’ve returned to newspapers on the advice Johann Hari. I find myself inspired to think about more and to delve into more issues and problems that I’m seeing instead of just lurching from one piece of sensation to the next.
Something that caught my eye recently was the news that senior staff at Goldman Sachs are to be allowed endless holidays which they can book themselves and take when they want.
I suspect not the case for people lower down the chain for people who are perhaps cleaning the offices but at the moment this seems like an extraordinary shift to Daniel Pink’s ‘Results Only Work Environment’ (ROWE).
Pink described this over 10 years ago and it’s certainly suitable for some types of environments in the modern information economy.
If you were a senior executive at Goldman Sachs your job is results.
If you’re a leader you will have a group of people who you task to obtain the results that are required.
It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that you could check in with them on a late Friday pm, meeting and let them do the work for the following week while you fly off to somewhere nice to recuperate after all your ‘decision making’.
While I make light of this it’s almost certainly the direction of travel for innovative, high-value companies but the question is will it filter down to the likes of you and I?
Results only work environments work because the people involved in them understand if they don’t continue to get the results, they won’t continue to stay in the results only work environment and will have to return back to the 70 or 80 hour a week environment where they are forced to sit at a desk despite how much work they do.
We all work in a results only work environment, it’s just that most of us don’t realise it.
The problem we have now is that the 35-hour week for most people has become the 45- or 50-hour week as we’re expected to work outside of our work on electronic devices that keep us chained to the grindstone for much more time than we would like.
‘Just finishing off’ has become a toxic habit.
One other way around this is to investigate the possibility of the 4-day week, and this is indeed ground-breaking.
To cut from a 5-day week model to a 4-day week model within your business is likely to cost you around 20% of your wage budget.
If your current wage budget is 20%, it means your wage budget is likely to go up to about 25% of turnover.
This seems almost unmanageable for almost anyone working in finance and business until you realise that the recruitment crisis is so difficult and could become so problematic and people are working so hard that the chance to work in a 4-day week environment might just be the thing that sets your business entirely apart and allows it to continue turning over money when others are failing and therefore collect more of the opportunity.
Perhaps Goldman Sachs have absolutely got it right.
I’d just like to see them filter it down to every level of their business because then they would be able to hire the brightest and the best all through the company.
Blog Post Number - 3093