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Business Improvement Solutions Versus Traditions

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Bert Martinez, CEO of a business training firm in Houston, decided to implement a four day workweek. This notion, according to MSN, is unusual enough to be considered a top story in weird news.

In the article Employers rethinking the 5-day workweek, thoughts as to whether or not the idea of shortened office hours is better for a company and its stakeholders vary greatly. According to Robert Whaples, a professor of economics at Wake Forest University, compressing the workweek and making it the new standard is a far-fetched idea. He cites conformity as the main factor: “the traditional five-day, 40-hour week simply has been in place too long.”

Yet, to other professionals, work flexibility is invaluable when it comes to productivity and stakeholder satisfaction. In fact, two entrepreneurs quoted in the article feel strongly that success at work shouldn’t be based on how many hours put in, but rather upon the actual results that come from being efficient and empowered.

employee retention discussion

© Flickr user kroszk@

“It’s pathetic,” said Nadine Mockler, founder of Flexible Resources Inc., a staffing firm. “Most companies are not allowing flexibility. They want people there, they want face time, they want to make sure work is getting done, and now people are working even longer.”

This is happening, she added, even though providing such flexibility makes the workforce more efficient.

Leigh Steere, co-founder of management research firm Managing People Better, agreed and pointed to a study done by Microsoft in 2005 that found workers who put in 45 hours a week said they were only productive for about three days.

“Employers should be paying based on results delivered and not hours worked,” she said. “Should a person who can deliver a project in two days be paid the same as a person who takes six days to perform the same work?”

From sleep rooms to increase productivity growth to drinkable energy for a boost to employee productivity, we have discussed all sorts of gimmicky solutions that aim to sustain individual well-being while achieving productivity at work. But the truth of the matter is, every workplace culture is different. Just because one company finds a 40-hour workweek a necessity, does not mean other companies can’t have success with a 30-hour one. Essentially, what works for one team of stakeholders may not work for another. And that is why AccelaWork cautions companies about developing office environments based upon societal norms rather than what’s actually conducive to your business. Our philosophy is simple:

Please conduct your work wherever and whenever you feel you can be most productive, most efficient, most effective and most satisfied.

That might sound a little bold. After all, shouldn’t employees come into the office most days? Shouldn’t they have set working hours? Shouldn’t we define what kind of work can and cannot be done from home?

The answer to all of those questions is a firm “maybe.” If there are reasons to be in the office, to work specific hours, or to specify where work should be done, it’s likely that employees will have the best perspective to generate these reasons and make sound decisions. We trust our employees to do what they believe is best for the company. Ultimately, any corporate policy is either a reminder of what everyone knows or a restriction on how people should behave.

Great organizations have great workplace productivity. If we want employees to be innovative, we don’t need to tell them where to get their work done. Instead, we need to focus on making sure they are fully empowered to work. Brilliance comes from being unencumbered.

For more information on how to transform your workflow and your perspective, contact our small business consulting firm today!

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