Should You Ditch Your 8-Hour Workday?

I recently read about a company that reduced its work day to 5 hours for all employees without reducing salaries. As long as employees fulfilled their job duties within those 5 hours, they were free to leave the office. As a result of this change, productivity increased across the company, sick leave decreased by 12% and employee engagement rose dramatically.

The idea of living more and working less isn’t new -- Timothy Ferris first published his best-selling book, The 4-Hour Workweek, in 2009 –- but it is gaining momentum now that flexibility-focused Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers and Gen Xers as the majority generation in the U.S. workforce.

Millennials are replacing unproductive, hour-long sit down meetings with stand-up meetings that accelerate fast decision making. They are retiring email as the primary mode of information sharing and investing in real-time, collaboration and communication technology. When they reach positions of leadership and authority, Millennials fundamentally change the way work gets done.

Ditching your 8-hour workday may not be possible for all employers for a variety of reasons, but it’s a worthwhile exercise to consider. If you only had 5 hours to get work done, what would you eliminate? How would you have to innovate?

Organizations must evolve to stay competitive, and we must prepare leaders and their workforces to excel under conditions and in environments that are very different from what they know and are used to. For more information on successful strategies to implement, visit my website or contact me directly.