Once again,a topic that is not entirely tech related but still touches on tech as well.By now most of you will have already recognized that am an advent student of start-ups and the reason why some succeed and some fail.This intrigues me a lot because of the obvious reason that Katana Web World is a start-up in itself.Also, I know that I am yet to write the part 2 of speeding up your site-for those who are waiting,apologies that I haven’t yet published it(but it’s coming very soon).
We have currently been actively engaged in a very awesome project (SleepShareStay,Kenya very first platform for Short-Term Listing and HouseShare).It has been quite interesting and challenging and yeah we have learnt a lot as well.During this,I personally stumbled upon a very interesting topic that I felt most of you should know about.Why? Majority of us are starting their own businesses which in one way or another is Knowledge-based meaning a lot of Knowledge workers are going to be involved. So how do you make such a start-up successful without the “light bulb” of your employees going off? Here’s a one way.
To begin,I am aware that the term “Knowledge workers” is obscure for most of you reading this.According to Wikipedia,Knowledge workers are workers whose main capital is Knowledge.Probably one of the worst definitions ever.In the simplest of words I could possibly use,Knowledge workers are people whose main job involves thinking.Almost every type of job could fall into this category according to what most of you are thinking by now(You reading this and thinking about it does not make you a knowledge worker just so we are clear).Allow me to shade more light into the subject.A knowledge workers combines convergent,divergent and creative thinking to come up with projects,ideas,products or services that solve problems.They include: engineers,architects,physicians,accountants,pharmacists,scientists,bloggers,programmers,academicians,researchers you name it.To even make you understand the subject a lot clearer,try comparing them to their counter-part manual workers which am sure most of you know what they do.Beginning to understand now?Good.If you would like more in-depth info on who is a knowledge worker simply click here.
Now to the interesting bit,what I stumbled upon and the intent of this post.It’s called the “32 Hours-4 day Rule”.The rule is not really a rule,it’s just something most bloggers refer to.Most psychologists and social analysts have realized that most people are not really productive at what they do simple because of overworking their brains too much.Here in Kenya most of us work for 8 hours a day for 5 days a week which equals 40 hours plus another half day during Saturdays.Coming from a guy who has been there,that’s just what we would like to tell ourselves.In reality most of us do not work for those 8 hours.In fact after lunch break we do not get any work done at all.The rest of the afternoon is spent chatting on Facebook,whats app,twitter-WASTED!! Study commissioned by Public Health England has shown that contrary to what most of us are used to,Knowledge workers should work for about 6 hours a day only(and that the first two hours should be work done while standing up to build up for the rest of the 4 hours).And yes,the 6 hours does include breaks.This is because the productivity and efficiency goes down with an increase in the number of working hours.And some might go ahead and dispute this as just mere theory.Statistics show that if you take two workers,A and B, and put up a graph of their productivity against the number of working hours a day.At first,worker A who works for 50+ hours a day will seem more productive than worker B who works for say 32 hours day because of getting more work done.However if their productivity is put up against one another in the next 6 months running,guess whose will be higher?Your guess is as good as mine.And to me,the reason is quite simple:”YOU SIMPLY CANNOT FORCE THINKING WHEN FATIGUED“.
Ryan Carson,Founder and CEO of TreeHouse which am sure most of you even those who are not programmers are utterly aware of,developed the 32 Hours-4 day Rule although he is not the only one using it.Apparently Treehouse workers work only until Thursdays with flextime and no management.Each morning employees decide what project they will take and how they are going to collaborate.When asked why he uses such method,”I mean, I work really hard, you know — Monday through Thursday”.Like a boss.So exactly what did abandoning the old way of thinking get him? An estimated annually revenue of 10 million and 100% employee retention rate.Who exactly wouldn’t want to work in such an environment.
In a nutshell,for those in business or planning to be in one-if you know the kind of thing you are doing requires a lot of brain power,best to spread out your working hours so that people work less but effectively and productively.For the freelancers out there,ensure you give your brain a rest.Am not innocent on this one,but now that I know-Its work less hours equals doing more work in the long run.