Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has been one of the primary leaders in technology innovation for the last 15 years. Everything from the ecommerce business model to an array of tech devices, Amazon has the been there, done that aura surrounding itself. Now, Amazon is looking to be a pioneer in the office landscape. The tech titan is set to test out a 30-hour work week that could change the way on-site employees perform their daily duties.
Amazon.com, Inc. Leading the Charge to a 30-Hour Work Week
For years, Amazon has earned a terrible reputation when it comes to the workplace. The online retail giant has been accused of maintaining an overworked, overbearing and overly stressful office environment. Former workers say Jeff Bezos and the rest of management put profits over its employees. Earlier this year, there was even a website launched called The Former And Current Employees (FACE) of Amazon, which encourages employees, past and present, to post negative reviews of the tech firm.
Amazon is trying to reverse those negative opinions by doing something bold: employing reduced schedules. In a bid to garner positive views from its staff, Amazon is testing out the shortened work week.
The Washington Post is reporting that Amazon is set to launch a program that would provide a specific team of employees to partake in a 30-hour work week.
Here’s how it would work: a subset of the company’s technical team will work the main hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Monday to Thursday. The remaining hours can be achieved on flex time. Also, these staff members will receive 75 percent of what their 40-hour counterparts make, but with the same benefits.
The purpose behind the move is “to create a work environment that is tailored to a reduced schedule and still fosters success and career growth.
“This initiative was created with Amazon’s diverse workforce in mind and the realization that the traditional full-time schedule may not be a ‘one size fits all’ model.”
Can Amazon.com, Inc. Create a New Trend?
In 1930, economist John Maynard Keynes, the founder of the Keynesian School of Economics, predicted that in the future most workers would have a 15-hour work week. As many can attest to, that has yet to happen, though capitalism has offered us a lot more leisure time than at any other point in history.
Many proponents of the reduced schedule hope that Amazon can minimize the stigma surrounding this initiative. Ellen Galinsky, president and founder of the Families and Work Institute, told the newspaper that the terms of “reduced schedule” and “part-time” suggest that you’re doing less, even though is is incorrect. If a company as big as Amazon can succeed in this test then perhaps it will be the start of a new trend.
The work-life balance has become one of the biggest concerns to the modern worker in recent years.
With that being said, there has been a growing push to adopt such a goal. In 2014, Carlos Slim, Mexico’s $83 billion telecommunications tycoon, proclaimed that a “three-hour work week will happen.”
“People are going to have to work for more years, until they are 70 or 75, and just work three days a week – perhaps 11 hours a day,” Slim said in a speech. “With three work days a week, we would have more time to relax; for quality of life. Having four days [off] would be very important to generate new entertainment activities and other ways of being occupied.”
As millennials – those born between 1980 and 2000 – have officially taken over the workforce it is quite likely that Keynes’s vision of the future could come to fruition. Studies have repeatedly highlighted that millennials want flex work, telecommuting and more time off. Businesses may eventually have no other choice but to acquiesce to these demands if they want to retain younger professionals.
Working remotely can be done, and there are numerous benefits to adopt this concept. A remote workforce can save money on rent, reduce technology costs and perhaps even boost productivity.
Perhaps it will take a gigantic firm like Amazon to lead the movement to a telecommuting, flex world.