Friday, August 18, 2006

"Working 9 to 5" or "Whenever, wherever"?

shotton paper
Originally uploaded by harrymoon.
One of the best things I have experienced in the Netherlands is the concept of a four-day week. As I write this I am having my day off like on any Friday. I have been hanging around the house, listened to Amy Winehouse and Jill Scott, watched Finding Neverland, eaten crackers and started getting myself into a weekend mood. I earn only 80 % of the full pay but I get by. I value the free time much more. I must even say that on Fridays I don't mind if I need to check my emails or make a phone call. It is still my free day.

I read last week from the Dutch daily an article by a recently graduated young woman who criticised her peers for not doing their share for the national economy by slacking with only a 80 % work week. She was saying that these people in their late-20s are used to too good and do not understand their responsibilities, also considering their own pensions. And of course she mentioned both China and India.

Come on. I don't know if she was trying to get herself a job in a Conservative think tank or what but her concept of work efficiency dates back to Henry Ford. I keep surprising myself by meeting constantly people who measure the efficiency of work based on the ways you work, not based on what you deliver. I presume the updated Fordism defines an efficient worker in the following manner:

- never late in the morning

- spends most of his or her time typing with the computer or speaking on the phone

- staples and copies

- does not bother other people with communication not directly linked to work

- does not complain or criticise


1 comment:

Maria said...

That is precise the thought I have been trying to talk about here in television for years. New ideas do not just burst out in the regular weekly meetings. They need time and space but even more likely impact from the movies, art galleries,books,photography AND from other people( even those outside of your work, eh).

Poor results among my colleagues, but I continue to feed my creativity and mind through those things. Hmm, probably it makes me a good worker...