Money

Amazon Is Trying Out A 30-Hour Workweek

Could this signify a shift in the way we think about "part-time" work?

Amazon is testing out a program whereby some teams will be made up of 30-hour-per-week employees.

According to The Washington Post (which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns), “These 30-hour employees will be salaried and receive the same benefits as traditional 40-hour workers, but they will receive only 75 percent of the pay full-time workers earn. Currently, the company employs part-time workers that share the same benefits as full-time workers. However, the pilot program would differ in that an entire team, including managers, would work reduced hours.”

Amazon may be quite popular with online shoppers, but it doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to its workplace. The company has been criticized for brutal conditions in their warehouses, as well as the mega-intense corporate environment (which Amazon took exception to). The Post article does add “Amazon did not comment on whether this program was in relation to the New York Times report [about the intense conditions at corporate].”

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“We want to create a work environment that is tailored to a reduced schedule and still fosters success and career growth,” Amazon said in a statement. “This initiative was created with Amazon’s diverse workforce in mind and the realization that the traditional full-time schedule may not be a ‘one size fits all’ model.”

It seems like Europe picked up on this long ago. Fifteen countries have shorter works weeks than the U.S.

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The few dozen employees in the test program will work Monday-Thursday from 10am until 2pm, with additional flex hours. They can change to full-time if they want, and Amazon says they don’t plan to do this at a company-wide level.

Ellen Galinsky is president and founder of the Families and Work Institute, and says those in a reduced-hours role can sometimes be made to feel reduced in stature as well. In the Post article, she said “There has for a very long time been a stigma against working reduced hours, or part-time work. Even names like that, ‘part-time’ or ‘reduced,’ make it seem like a deviation from the norm, like you’re doing less.”

[h/t: Business Insider]

Photo by A nosa disco necesítanos