As early as 1930, economist John Maynard Keynes described a scenario where automation would lead to a 15-hour workweek. That dream was dead and buried until March of 2020 when the global pandemic upended the working world. But now, as vaccinations lead to a return to 2019 normalcy, one scar of the pandemic may become a badge of honor – the shorter workweek. Calls for shortening the workweek without decreasing pay are getting louder, as described in a recent article from LinkedIn by Bruce Anderson.
WFH or work-from-home was sudden for most industries, even silicon valley. But as platforms perfected bringing remote workers together, everyone soon realized that work/life balance needed a rethink. As work and homelife blended, employers in the UK, Spain, and New Zealand adopted a shorter workweek and found something unusual. Productivity, worker satisfaction, and retention rates increased.
Labor vs. Management
Of course, seeing a shorter workweek with no decrease in pay looks great from the labor side, but what does management say? The shorter workweek is being tested at Mizuho Financial Group in Japan, with a corresponding pay cut. But that may not work this time around as WFH, due to the pandemic, has created a savvy-global workforce, where previous factors like regional costs of living don’t qualify as a viable reason for lowering pay.
Value-Added vs. ROI
Perhaps the shorter workweek with no shrinkage in pay will have more staying power once employee performance is considered from a value-added vs. ROI perspective. Labor, for now, is seen as a cost of doing business. But what would happen if philosophies around the costs of labor changed?
How close are we to the shorter workweek? Only time will tell. The pandemic’s effects on WFH, compensation, and work/life balance will remain for years to come. Companies in the IT industry will need to consider this a recruitment tool when searching for candidates from a global workforce.
Danielle Foppe is a Recruitment Manager at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about getting the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Danielle specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth, and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career, contact us today.