Hats off to Amazon, the first US company of note to offer a 30 hour work week for employees. Maybe I am wrong, but I think this could definitely help them recruit and keep talent in the tech talent starved world.
Hopefully, this isn’t just an attempt to get people to work more hours but cut their pay by 25%. To me, it seems there are many potential benefits to this:
- Many young dual income couples both have full time jobs, and would gladly cut back on some of their pay in order to better manage their lives. Take it from me, even with no kids, when both spouses work full time, weekends are just a way to catch up on errands and appointments that you couldnt get to during the week. Indeed, I would bet that employees working 30 hours a week take less PTO time off for doctor, dental, car appointments, etc – as they can work them in better on their off hours.
- By having more workers spread across the same number of hours, more cross training can (must) be built into everybody’s job functions. This helps lessen the damage caused by key employees leaving with business knowledge known only to the departed.
- Offering a 30 hour work week would differentiate Amazon from other tech employers. Again, in this Gig Economy, 10 extra hours a week would provide opportunity for self managed career growth for employees: they can work on their next startup, write the next great American novel, or if musicians, have time to pursue their dreams of being rock stars. I hear lots of smart people in tech feel weighed down because they dont have those spare hours to pursue a dream.
So I think CEO Jeff Bezos at Amazon is on to something. I have no doubt those attracted to a 30 hour work week are likely the best and brightest. Jeff Bezos has always been a step ahead of everyone else, and I think this is another move that will pay off.