What if every weekend could be a three-day weekend?
That’s the concept behind this incredible video featuring Portland, Ore.-based online education company Treehouse. From The Atlantic, which is really crushing it with their video series, they interview Treehouse CEO Ryan Carson on his decision to shift to a four-day workweek.
“I’m not going to be at my f–king keyboard at 9 p.m. on a Friday night because there’s no life there,” he says.
It’s a pretty fascinating look at redefining work/life balance. In the video, The Atlantic shows that the average American works 47 hours per week — that amounts to at least four more weeks per year than the average American worked in 1979. Add in the time you spend commuting, and you might want to cry a little bit.
Anyone who has doubts this model could work should watch the video. Carson says since implementing the 32-hour workweek in 2006, “We’ve proven that you can take it from an experiment into something that’s doable for real companies and real people in highly competitive markets.” Treehouse says the “intangible” benefits of rested, happy workforce are “priceless”: People have more time for those “light bulb” moments of genius, and Carson says it keeps them highly competitive with companies like Google and Facebook for talent.
You might remember Carson from EY’s recent annual Entrepreneur of the Year awards gala for the Pacific Northwest, where he won the award in the “Emerging” category. This is clearly a guy who is not afraid to try something new and take risks.
Movements toward taking care of workers is something responsible CEOs are recognizing they need to do. Remember Gravity Payments Dan Price’s pledge to increase every worker’s salary to $70K per year?
One of President Obama’s latest battles is paying more workers for overtime, and NPR took at a look at also curtailing email expectations after hours as that should also count as OT.
And let us not forget this Old Man at Amazon telling youngsters to go elsewhere, writing in his Reddit thread: “Amazon’s work life balance is awful, and it’s even more awful for fresh college students who don’t have obligations outside of the office to excuse them from working all night. You’ll be stack ranked against your peers, so if the rest of your team is going to stay until 8PM working on some project we need to finish before Q4 then you better do the same, otherwise it’s going to be PIP city for you come review time.”
It’s interesting that some are beginning to question the “churn-and-burn” mentality of companies taking advantage of your time and talent — and let’s face it, your life — by requiring you to work more hours than you’re being paid for.
Happy Wednesday. If you worked at Treehouse, you’d be eight hours closer to the weekend by now.