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What Would You Do With More Free Time?

Kayla DiPilato

Work 40 hours per week. Arrive at 9am, take a 30 minute lunch at 12pm, leave at 5:30pm. Do this everyday Monday to Friday, crawling toward each weekend, until you finally reach retirement. Who came up with this? Why? 

As it turns out, Henry Ford actually helped establish the current schedule when he reduced the hours of the workers in the Ford factory from 48 hours per week to 40 hours per week. This action was part of a larger movement from employees who wanted more humane working conditions. Around the same time, we began to see the emergence of labor unions and shortly after this the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed in 1938. This set the 40-hour work week, created a minimum wage and outlawed child labor. At the time this was a big step forward for American workers. 

However, at Kuvio we don’t think this format works anymore. The world is a very different place than it was 80 years ago and it is time for the working world to progress with it. This is why our full-time work week is 30 hours and why employees set their own schedules. We have worked more traditional jobs and we know that by Friday afternoon everyone is inching toward the door filling their time with endless coffee breaks and cat videos. So we decided to flip the script, do amazing, productive work in 30 hours and then head home to spend your free time how you want to. Maybe it’s watching cat videos, but maybe it is going to school, taking karate lessons, or spending extra time with your children. 

We think the 30 hour work week is healthier and allows more creativity to flow, but we aren’t the only ones. This format has been getting mainstream attention and Amazon recently shifted to allow some groups of employees to work 30 flexible hours per week if they gave up 25% of their salary (this change does not override the many other problematic workplace practices that exist at Amazon). Additionally, employees at the Swedish Svartedalens nursing home have been working 30-hour weeks for over a year as part of a study. The findings were positive, employees were energized, and residents said the standard of care had increased. There were fewer days of missed work and employees reported feeling happier. 

A study conducted by the Harvard Business Review found that experts from a variety of fields spend no more than five to six hours per day focused on their area of expertise, with most of these happening at the beginning of the day when their focus is sharp. After this, focus and productivity decline drastically, proving to be a waste of the employee’s time and company resources. 

These findings are an encouraging argument for the 30-hour work week. We also wanted to share some of our employees personal experience with this schedule. 

“I really enjoy working a 30-hour week because it gives me a perfect work-life balance and allows me to be super productive while on the clock because I'm determined to get things done within the allotted 30 hours. It also allows me to do the things I enjoy most like crocheting, knitting, and being able to be with the ones I love.” -Dante Elegante, Development Apprentice

“Something I noticed recently is that my "work hours" were 10-6. But then i realized that’s an 8 hour day, where as I try to do 5 or 6 hours. So instead, I now spend 2 hours every morning doing something else. Like working on random designs, watching tutorials or learning content, etc. So, in a way I still "work" 40 hours, but 10 of them are mine to do as I wish and to ramp into the day.” -Kieran Parker, Director of Design

“The flexibility and balance is so valuable. I love the fact that I'm not just working from the moment I get up through dinner. I can start my day with something else if wanted, like exercise or even just taking my time drinking coffee. Or I can take a longer lunch during my day and do something like read to decompress then come back to the code refreshed without then working late into the night.” -Layla Hedges, Solutions Developer

“I am a morning person, like a start working at 6am and finish at 2pm type of morning person. So when I had a job that started at 9am, my three most productive hours had already passed by. I love having the flexibility to work when it feels best for me. Additionally, the 30-hour work week has allowed me to fulfill my dream of attending grad school while still having time for a work-life balance that is healthy for me.”-Kayla DiPilato, Director of Marketing

Kuvio is founded on the idea that when you bring together a team of top talent and give them the tools, support, and freedom to collaborate the work produced will be innovative and unmatched. One of the ways we have achieved this is through the 30-hour full time work week. Have you tried something like this at your company? Would you like to? Let us know on Twitter, @kuviocreative. Check out more about what makes us different at www.kuv.io

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