Quantcast

Working hours experiment

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

doctor Bob

Established Member
Joined
22 Jun 2011
Messages
3,570
Reaction score
114
Location
Matching Green
Please note: I'd like this thread to stay so if we can try and avoid politics.

I'm trying a little social expoeriment at work.
Currently the guys work 5 days 38hr week.

Due to much discussion over the past week on reducing the working week to 32hrs, I thought I'd give it a little go.
Not to 32hrs but letting the guys go at lunch on a friday, this reduces the week to 36.5 hrs.

Trial is 2 months, at the end my decision to continue is final, no discussion.
Productivity must be maintained.
Only guys with 1 year of service get the extra time off (all at present qualify)
Pay is still for offical 38hrs week, therefore overtime rate is the same. But starts after 36.5 hrs, instead of 38hrs.
Partial flexitime already exists.

How do you think it will go?
 
Joined
13 Jul 2015
Messages
2,655
Reaction score
56
Location
Suffolk
"Productivity must be maintained."

I'd change that to :

"Productivity and quality must be maintained"

So are you expecting them to do the same amount of work in 36.5 as 38?
 

lurker

Le dullard de la commune
Joined
2 Mar 2007
Messages
5,382
Reaction score
44
Location
Leicestershire
Were I worked we had this.
I think most folks thought it was a very good perk.
And the Friday commute home was a bit easier.
The proviso was the boss could require you to be at work all day Friday if there was urgent work to complete.

Personally rather than winding down (all of the day) on Fridays I was more productive during the morning knowing I was soon to be away.

At one time, we could not start work until 8am and had to be there until 5.
That changed gradually until most of us started between 7-7.30 and could leave after 4pm. That alone saved me 6 hours a week commute time, for no extra cost to my employee.

So long as your folks understand "swings and roundabouts", both parties can profit.
 

doctor Bob

Established Member
Joined
22 Jun 2011
Messages
3,570
Reaction score
114
Location
Matching Green
transatlantic":1urg53dt said:
"Productivity must be maintained."

I'd change that to :

"Productivity and quality must be maintained"

So are you expecting them to do the same amount of work in 36.5 as 38?
Good point.

Yes the last part of your post, is the aim.
 

MikeG.

Plodding on.
Joined
24 Aug 2008
Messages
10,122
Reaction score
610
Location
Essex/ Suffolk border
I think most of the experiments along these lines have been successful, so I would assume you would have a reasonable result. The only issue I can see is having a clear measure of productivity.
 

mbartlett99

Established Member
Joined
10 Aug 2010
Messages
877
Reaction score
0
Location
Hitchin, Hertfordshire
My boss is considering going the other way and I know its already having a negative effect; staff turnover is about to increase and no more work will get done than before. I have done 'job and knock' on Fridays and that really encourages people to pull their finger out rather than fanny around.

It'll be interesting to see how it works out for you.
 

will1983

Established Member
Joined
14 May 2014
Messages
398
Reaction score
0
Location
Crewe
I think this should work fine as it's been proven time and again that more hours worked does not translate directly into more work produced. (an old foreman I used to work with always argued that there is only 8 hours decent work in a person each day, any more was a waste of money)

One question though, what happens when you have someone new start and they don't qualify for the Friday afternoon off?

Who do they work with as I presume you have some sort of "no lone working" policy in place in the workshop?
Is there anyone on hand to supervise or advise the then newly joined and likely less experienced employee?
 

stuartpaul

Established Member
Joined
11 Feb 2003
Messages
986
Reaction score
3
Location
Somerset
Bob,

Well done for giving it a go.

I'd agree with Mike on measuring what you consider is 'acceptable' productivity. Set that out very clearly so all understand what's required of them.

I've been involved in quite a few arguments about the acceptability issue in the past and trying to remove subjectivity is important (and difficult!).

If you are currently employing any urine removal experts then they are the ones who will find any loopholes!

Good luck with the experiment.
 

doctor Bob

Established Member
Joined
22 Jun 2011
Messages
3,570
Reaction score
114
Location
Matching Green
will1983":10urmb9b said:
One question though, what happens when you have someone new start and they don't qualify for the Friday afternoon off?

Who do they work with as I presume you have some sort of "no lone working" policy in place in the workshop?
Is there anyone on hand to supervise or advise the then newly joined and likely less experienced employee?
LOL, your assuming the bosses go home, unfortunately not, I'll be here till 5pm
 

Sheffield Tony

Established Member
Joined
2 Aug 2012
Messages
2,000
Reaction score
23
Location
Bedfordshire
Good on you for trying it. I have always thought that our traditional approach tends to reward long hours. Judging employees not so much by how much they achieve, as how long it takes them to do it, is surely all wrong.
 

doctor Bob

Established Member
Joined
22 Jun 2011
Messages
3,570
Reaction score
114
Location
Matching Green
stuartpaul":f67lrwhu said:
If you are currently employing any urine removal experts then they are the ones who will find any loopholes!

Good luck with the experiment.
All good uns at present, hence the long service, I'm very good at making the peoples working life very pleasant or very difficult depending on what they give back.
 

Trainee neophyte

[Insert witty and amusing title here]
Joined
12 Apr 2019
Messages
2,139
Reaction score
55
Location
Greece
Interesting. I think short term you will see no loss of productivity, because it is a perk. Longer term, things may slack off, because it is just normal working hours.

If they can do 38 hours work in 35, or however many, why haven't they been doing it up until now? (Is that an unfair question?)
 

Cheshirechappie

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2012
Messages
4,725
Reaction score
13
Location
Cheshire
With a smaller, tightly-knit team, this could work out very well. I think problems can arise in larger organisations, especially when supervision is a bit slack.

I worked for many years in a large engineering design organisation. It was very noticeable that some people were 'productive' most of the time, and some were - erm - rather less so. It's easy to 'disappear' in a big organisation, but not in a smaller team.
 
Joined
13 Jul 2015
Messages
2,655
Reaction score
56
Location
Suffolk
I'd be worried that people will rush the work, and standards will slip.

So you might be as productive as before, i.e. getting the same amount of work done, ...but will it be to the same quality?

If people were being very productive previously, and standards were high previously, then you can't expect to maintain that whilst also reducing hours. Something has to give.
 

That would work

Established Member
Joined
29 Dec 2018
Messages
596
Reaction score
7
Location
Dartford
Does anyone else remember the discussions often heard in the 70's regarding what we will do with the increased leisure time that we will all inevitably have at our disposal in the future?... Im still waiting!
However it is good to hear employers considering the welfare of employees.
I think some "other"(?) European countries regularly finish earlier on Fridays.
 

doctor Bob

Established Member
Joined
22 Jun 2011
Messages
3,570
Reaction score
114
Location
Matching Green
Trainee neophyte":2tgiry15 said:
If they can do 38 hours work in 35, or however many, why haven't they been doing it up until now? (Is that an unfair question?)
Not at all. I'm not a slave driver, I really want a happy workforce.
Hence we have a breakfast on a Thursday morning (sausage and bacon rolls, tea and coffee) on work time, and still have morning tea break just an hour later.
I like the guys to have banter, laugh and joke. I've worked in a factory on peace work and the atmosphere was horrendous. Don't give a dung about someone elses work if it don't affect you. I also have flexitime as it benefits everyone to a degree.

Each job is entwined with the next, eg, if one is making doors and one is making frames and one is making carcases, then I'd expect them all to be finished about the same time, if someone is slacking it is obvious in a group of 5 or 6. I also do bonuses if we are doing well which creates an incentive.
I have a great team at present, I've also had a terrible atmosphere in the workshop less than 4 years ago due to a couple of bad eggs. Look after the good ones is now my motto.
 

doctor Bob

Established Member
Joined
22 Jun 2011
Messages
3,570
Reaction score
114
Location
Matching Green
transatlantic":2w7s76hc said:
I'd be worried that people will rush the work, and standards will slip.

So you might be as productive as before, i.e. getting the same amount of work done, ...but will it be to the same quality?

If people were being very productive previously, and standards were high previously, then you can't expect to maintain that whilst also reducing hours. Something has to give.
To some extent I agree, however, I shall try to emphasis the reduction in hours means maybe a bit less chit chat and banter and a bit more work focused.
 

Lineberry

New member
Joined
26 Sep 2019
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Location
London
In a perfect world, this would work fine. In reality, I'm not so sure. I hope some institution does some experiments like this.
 

treeturner123

Established Member
Joined
12 Jan 2009
Messages
375
Reaction score
3
Location
Worcestershire
Dr Bob

Nice to hear of a boss who looks on staff as one of his assets, not a disposable item.

Many years ago, in construction management, we used to finish at about 1.30 on a Friday, go down to a lovely little pub, have a pint and a filled bap (egg, bacon and black pudding was a favorite). After this some would wander back to the office if documents needed to be got out by CoP, the rest would carry on home.

Long Gone days I'm afraid.

Phil
 
Top