The Bendable Work-Week
July 23, 2008
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Consider an organization which, up until now at least, has had 7-hour workdays. And, not for all employees, but for most administrative staff, except IT. To justify the exclusion of IT, they say “IT workers make too much money already”. Gee, how appreciative.
But anyway. Most admin folks (like the Finance staff) get an 9:00-4:30 day, with the requisite 30-minute lunch (which naturally gets stretched to an hour, right?).
Being a non-profit, they “just can’t afford the salaries offered by other for-profit companies”, so they compensate in other ways such as offering up better benefits like more vacation and the 7 hour day. Which is being taken away.
So now they have to “work” an extra hour, and there is a huge outcry. You would have thought they were taking away the free coffee and foozball tables (just kidding, they really don’t have those…).
For an hourly employee, it’s expected that you’re working only the established hours, since that’s what’s budgeted and what you’re paid for–any more and they have to pay you overtime. But what about salaried/exempt employees, who by definition, are not supposed to have “established” workday hours. How many of you really only work the “posted” hours? Where you work, is there a “rush to the exits” when its closing time?
Perhaps this organization didn’t consider adopting what is now commonly referred to as the “four tens”? Just recently, the County of Fairfax, Virginia announced that they were studying this option. I think that this would have been the better option, and would have resulted in a huge morale win for both the organization and their employees.