Eighty percent jobs
Evert Pot with a bit of Netherlands-alia:
There’s been a bit of a trend recently for some companies to move to 4-day workweeks. This is making a decent amount of noise, but the actual number of companies offering this still seems pretty few and far between. It’s not hard to imagine why CEOs might feel this is risky, considering that many don’t even trust people to work from home.
What I don’t see much are 80% jobs, which are 32 hour jobs, at 80% salary. This should be a low-risk proposition that I think a lot of people in the tech industry would take, if it were an option.
I think this idea works pretty well for software development jobs, which have notoriously inflated salaries and where short bursts of Deep Work (tm) are punctuated by meetings and context switching. I think a lot of devs would take a 20% pay cut for an extra day on the weekend. Apparently many workers in the Netherlands already do!
The main downside from the discussion on Hacker News seems to centre on the extra bandwidth that would come from managing 80% employees: fixed per-employee costs like hardware and HR, extra burden on the recruitment team. One enterprising poster complained that the outcome of this kind of thinking is the hourly commoditisation of jobs—everyone working on hourly salaries—and that this would lead to some catastrophic impact on software developers' quality of life, but:
- some software developers, like those who work for themselves, already work like this, contracting to clients on an hourly basis, and
- there's a world of difference between someone in the service industry making minimum (or slightly-above-minimum) wage, and someone in tech making their salary-equivalent.