To continue my little series on what I’ve called a selfless corporate culture, today I’m writing about a crazy idea around alternate weekends for productivity and adventures.
Late last week Tahoe was hit with quite a lot of snow. There was so much snow, in fact, that highway 80, the main artery entering and leaving North Lake Tahoe, closed for most of Friday. Still on my high from heli-boarding I decided at 7pm Friday night to drive to Squaw and shred my share of fresh snow. I left shortly before 8pm that night and arrived in Tahoe at 2:30am. After sleeping four hours I got ready and jumped in the car en route to Squaw, only to wait in traffic for another 45 minutes. My crazy thought hit me at this moment: some of my most productive times are the weekends, yet often I spend them in traffic or fighting crowds at airports.
Employees should be given an option to take their “weekends” during the week. So instead of having Saturday and Sunday off, everyone has the option to take Tuesday and Wednesday off instead. I have two reasons for this: first, working Saturday and Sunday would be email and meeting free, almost unarguably making non-managers more productive; second, taking your “weekend” during the week would let weekend warriors avoid crowds at the mountains, airports, or anywhere else. My first reason assumes that most employees would most of the time decide to have normal weekends, which seems like a plausible scenario considering how few people make regular weekend trips. And a final caveat is that sufficient notice would need to be given to take Tuesday and Wednesday off.
The largest argument against my proposal is about communication. How will team members be able to communicate if they’re not all in the office at the same time? First, everyone will always be in the office Monday, Thursday, and Friday, which in most cases should be ample time to work with others on joint projects. Furthermore, I argue that in most cases face-to-face realtime communication isn’t as critical as most leaders expect. (Wow, I feel weird writing that given how extroverted I am.) But again, three days a week should be plenty of time for all-staff meetings, team meetings, team building events, or any other gathering. Lastly, if employees are properly multiplied, they’ll be self-sufficient decision makers capable of and passionate to do what it takes to succeed. And they’ll be happier because they’ll be able to beat the weekend crowds if they so desire.
Not too crazy of an idea, right?