Based on my experiences in Work From Home (WFH) during the Pandemic, I’m going through my findings about work from home. Let me get more radical – WFH in many ways proves we need to rethink the idea of the workweek and work days.
In fact, we don’t need to do it just for WFH, but I digress. Maybe I’ll digress more digressively at another time.
Anyway, the Pandemic has massively disrupted work schedules. We’re trying to deal with fear, the kids being home, schedule changes, etc. We’re somehow surviving during all of this and stuff keeps running. This leads to other questions.
Is the 40 hour workweek (and inevitable overtime) a good idea? Is there any basis in reality? Do we need that? Do we accomplish as much? Is it healthy for society? For that matter, do the days we have in the weekday really work well for us?
Is the eight hour day ideal? Ever had days where you did four hours of work and found yourself exhausted – or have a day where you could go for twelve and be just cruising? The problem with an eight hour day is for many, the value of each hour isn’t the same, and it’s not the same day to day.
We’re working in an industrial/factory work situation with no connection to reality or what we need. At best this is habit, at worst this is a situation that makes us vulnerable to having time extorted. Having to upend our usual work days and work weeks, is a good time to question just what our ideal work schedules should be.
It sounds idelaistic, but we should ask just how long people should stay on the job, how to optimize jobs, and what is good for society. Let’s ask what needs to be done, how to get it done, and how to make sure people have time.
Honestly, I think we need to consider work as:
- First of all, we’ve just learned how we have to rethink life and work. We need to focus a hell of a lot more on life.
- People when possible should have at least two days off, maybe more. We need that. Organizations could focus on days people should be available, or groups can find the best times.
- We should reconsider the eight hour work day and, when possible, allow people to find the ideal day and time for them. Of course some places require certain times – so let’s work on that. Maybe there’s not workdays, but only “days we must be here” or “selection of days we must be here.”
- And, again, to those that must be on shift, in public, in phyiscal space, they deserve proper reimbursement and support.
Yeah, I know to do this will require people to be active. We’d need to push for it. But it’ll be worth it.
Besides, we’ve just learned our ways of thinking don’t work. They never really did.