Ahh, to work-less and have more time to enjoy life… nice idea. Web Worker Daily has a post today discussing a new report from Gartner’s Brian Prentice on the coming 20-hour work week. And I think he’s way off. I know from lots of personal experience that people who work “part-time” invariably wind up putting in close to full-time hours, or are so stressed trying to shove 40 hours of work into 20 that they burn out (my wife, who loved her job & employer, went part-time after the birth of our daughter, and went through that thresher – she left after about a year of hell). Also, it’s a logistical nightmare – imagine trying to schedule project meetings, sales calls, etc al with a bunch of people who are only available half-time, and rarely all overlap in their schedules.
Here’s the thing – we have flex time here at ZoomInfo, and make it work. If you need to come in late to avoid traffic, leave during the day to attend to an errand, etc, not a problem. We’re small enough that if somone’s falling behind it’s apparent pretty quickly and we’ll step in to help the person. It’s pretty rare that we need to. The trick is to hire people who are clearly into the job – we’ve refrained from hiring qualified people that we liked because it was clear they were more into the company that the specific role – I’ve mentioned before that passion for your day-to-day always winds up trumping passion for your employer.
All that said, if you’re passionate about your work you wind up working more, not less – you enjoy what you’re doing. You may not do traditional 9-5, M-F hours (none of us do), but you wind up making it up off hours, early, whenever. Again, you’re into it. The trend I hope to see (and, in my small way, foster) is towards people finding work they have passion for – a model of everyone as a craft-person, able to port their skills to new employers and make a huge contribution, while loving what they do. I’d take 60 hours of joy in my work over 20 hours of clock-watching any day.