Managers who care more about time than results will have to change thanks to better approaches to work. The idea of having to sit at physical location all day regardless of how busy you are is no longer acceptable. A new attitude to work is a postive thing about the pandemic; ongoing flexible hours, a four day work week, and results driven work are all being considered.
Workers aren’t asking for more money, they are asking for respect.
“It is a lot more feasible, possible, imaginable, accessible because we’ve practised so much working from home,” said Ezzedeen, who holds a PhD in organizational behaviour and development.
“And people have developed ways of working from home — setting up their home office, figuring out how they’re going to talk with a team, investing in the technology to support it. So there’s no going back.”
Thompson said a results-only work environment requires a shift in thinking about what it means to manage.
“The manager is not managing ‘me’ anymore. The manager is managing work. Not me. I don’t have to ask permission to go to the dentist. I don’t have to say, ‘Oh, I’m coming in at nine this morning instead of eight. Is it OK If I go to my child’s play?’ All of that crap disappears.”
Working less is better for everyone involved, including the employer. Iceland just ran a multi year experiment from 2015-19 to find out if a four day work week would damage productivity or improve it. Unsurprisingly, productivity didn’t go down and in some jobs it even went up. Tell your boss you should only work four days a week!
The trials led unions to renegotiate working patterns, and now 86% of Iceland’s workforce have either moved to shorter hours for the same pay, or will gain the right to, the researchers said.
Workers reported feeling less stressed and at risk of burnout, and said their health and work-life balance had improved. They also reported having more time to spend with their families, do hobbies and complete household chores.
Will Stronge, director of research at Autonomy, said: “This study shows that the world’s largest ever trial of a shorter working week in the public sector was by all measures an overwhelming success.
Too many people are told to follow their passion and find their dream job above all else. This is bad advice. Instead, go get a job that you can do, pays you well, and is filled with respect. There is no reason to be a sycophant at work.
Sarah Jaffe recently wrote a book titled Work Wonâ€™t Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Aloneand in it she explores our modern and utterly bizarre expectation that you should love your job. Over at the Next Big Idea Club she highlighted five key points from her book, and it’s worth looking at.
2. The idea that we should like our work is actually a relatively new concept.
The way we work and the way we think about work have changed over time. And so while humans have long been presumed to do some kinds of work for the love of it, thatâ€™s an expectation that has grown and spread from a couple of types of work to pretty much everything. The idea that we work in order to find fulfillment, rather than a paycheck, wasnâ€™t particularly widespread even just a couple of generations ago. When youâ€™re digging coal or building cars for a living, no one expects you to do it because you like it. You did it because it paid decentlyâ€”or because it paid at all.
In America anti-union sentiment is strong due to the marketing efforts of large business owners that don’t like paying workers. Amazon’s anti-union efforts are a great example of this. In recent years the pro-union movement has been growing and the recent push by Amazon workers to get respect is an example of this.
Over at Vice, of all places, they have an article about eight people explaining how they learned that unions are there to protect workers. The stories capture the reality, and benefits, of being in a union in the USA right now.
That strike helped us win free family health care. We donâ€™t have to pay anything to cover our spouse or kids, and the copays are so low that I never need to worry about money when I go to the doctor. We also won retention rights, which protect us when our restaurants shut down or close temporarily for renovationsâ€”which happens all the time at SFO! With these retention rights, we get put on a priority list to be rehired at one of the other restaurants in the airport. My union contract gives me a sense of security that Iâ€™m always going to be able to provide for my family. Before I started as a union cook at SFO, my husband was working a job where he had to pay a big premium for health insurance, and it didnâ€™t even cover the whole family. Nothing beats having a good job that feels really secure.
Capitalism works when companies pay for good and services, when companies make deals and don’t pay for what they ordered then things fall apart. This is exactly what happened last year in the fashion industry, and it was the workers who suffered the most. The owners of companies like JCPenney, Urban Outfitters, Walmart, and others had deals in place with factories to produce clothing which they should have paid for but failed to do so. These were international deals which smaller countries have a hard time enforcing (meaning the large multinationals got away with breaking the law due to their size).
Then the #PayUp movement started and campaigned against these unethical companies. By March of last year they got pledges from many companies to honour their contracts (valued at $22 billion). This money would go to pay the owners and workers of the companies originally sourced by the large multinationals. To date many of paid, but there are still a few outliers.
By the summer of 2020, #PayUp had been shared on social media millions of times. A Change.org petition, which was sent to over 200 fashion executives directly, garnered nearly 300,000 signatures calling on companies to pay for the cancellations. Behind the scenes, NGOs and activist groups like Remake, the Worker Rights Consortium and Clean Clothes Campaign moved in tandem to negotiate with brands.
This pressure was combined with direct action by workers around the world. In response to factory shutdowns that left thousands in the apparel industry without jobs, workers in Myanmar went on strike, eventually securing a wage bonus and union recognition through a two-week sit-in. In Cambodia, around one hundred workers marched to the Ministry of Labor to submit a petition requesting compensation after their factory shut down. When they werenâ€™t offered a resolution, protesters continued their march to the prime ministerâ€™s house, where they were blocked by nearly 50 police officers.