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Why employers should adopt Amazon’s 30-hour workweek

Amazon announces their new 30-hour work week initiative, testing the program with a small HR team first

The Amazon program is structured so that employees work 30 hours per week for 75% of their salary but retain their full benefits. Flexibility has been built into their schedules: they work core hours of 10 am to 2 pm, Monday to Thursday, and are able to work the remaining hours whenever they choose.

The 40-hour work week is outdated in today’s world.  It was created by Francis Perkins in the early 1900’s during the Roosevelt Administration to protect factory workers from being overworked and exploited. However with advancements in technology nowadays, it is no longer necessary to work that amount of hours in a week – although it seems to be increasing with a recent Gallop poll reporting that the average employee now works around 47 hours per week.

However, is this really helping the companies bottom line? Long working weeks push the limits of human focus and concentration and therefore productivity rapidly declines. This results in a waste of both the employee’s time and the employer’s money.

Longevity of employees is also a key factor – employers need new methods of attracting and retaining talent, because the workplace is changing. A recent Deloitte survey of more than 7,000 Millennials shows that levels of loyalty to employers are low among this generation— 66% reported that they expect to leave their current employer within the next four years. Considering that Millennials now make up the largest segment of our workforce, employers should make it a priority to reduce their turnover rates with this group.

Millennials are clear on what they want from their careers – more control, innovative employers, opportunities for leadership, flexible working schedules, good work/life balance with pay and financial benefits also being important.

Amazon has taken these things into consideration by trialling their new 30-hour week initiative offering employees a flexible work schedule and a good work/life balance – hoping to result in a happier, productive, well-balanced workforce – hopefully making burnout and workplace stress a thing of the past.

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