“The system is broken.” A strong statement, yet one that rings true across the globe, hitting hard especially for parents, the neurodiverse, and women in the workforce.
The outdated 8-hour work day originated during the Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. During this period, factory owners worked to increase their outputs, they often pushed their facilities to operate 24/7, forcing employees to work shifts of up to 16-hours. While this is no longer the case, what we can observe is a noticeable trend across the decades.
Pioneer of the 40 hour work week, Henry Ford of Ford Motors discovered that productivity actually went up when work hours were reduced! He then brought the work week down to 5 days per week and no more than 8 hour days.
At the time, this was considered radical. Today it is considered the standard.
“When it comes to time, we do not know how deeply we have been indoctrinated. We assume the 40 hour work week without question.”
In the wake of the Pandemic, we are being invited as a Society to disrupt the 40 hour work week fallacy and entertain more efficient and supportive ways to ensure company productivity, well-being and innovation within the workplace.
In a recent study highlighted by The Guardian, the Four-Day Work Week is showing major breakthroughs: “from 61 of the companies that entered the six-month trial, 56 have extended the four-day week, including 18 who have made it permanent.”
While the 4-day work week might feel radical, Vikki Louise, Founder of the 15 Hour Work Week has taken the concept even further. Her proven methodology could hold the answer for companies to build even better efficiency, save time and company expenditure, while generating new ideas that challenge the current rise of AI tech, thereby protecting job retention.
“The benefit of the 15 hour Work Week isn’t just in having better life-balance and being happier. It’s in producing higher quality work, better decision making, more creativity and community. There is nothing better than human-generated innovation and connection. Shorter work hours support our people to love their work. Providing them with the tools and the environment to make this a reality is where The 15 Hour Work Week comes in!”
Vikki is a reformed ‘Hustler’ turned Time-hacker, who went from 80 hour work weeks, doing all the things, to just 15 hours, with more success, money, and a lot more fun. Her mission is to build awareness on how to work differently and offer support in learning the skills to make the 15 Hour Work Week a reality.
She says: “It is safe for us to challenge the 40 hour work week. My thoughts on this are:
One, the idea that we are all supposed to work the same is laughable. As unique human beings, we all work, learn and connect differently. Two, the idea that every job has the same demands that can only be met in a 40 hour work week, across industries, is simply wrong. And Three, the idea that every week should look the same when there are busy seasons and less busy seasons; when there are periods of growth and periods of sustainable stability that demand less of us.
We need to begin to think out of the box and adapt to meet our evolution and knowledge within today’s modern society.”
For those brave enough to disrupt society’s norms, here are the 3 prerequisites that Vikki believes we all have the ability to uncover within ourselves to make the 15 hour work week work for us:
1. A rebellious nature: “You need to thrive on being different.”
This requires a willingness to go against the grain, to be the ‘black sheep’, while leaning on support systems and communities who also live and work beyond the status quo.
2. A strong sense of self: Society has an astounding ability to confuse time-efficacy with laziness, and you will likely feel bad for making more money in less hours. From the time we are first strapped to a school desk (and later an office desk), the only important indicator of whether we’re performing, contributing, and otherwise playing to the tune of those in positions of power, is how long we sit at that desk every day. To go against the years of deliberate programming and probably everyone else around you, requires a strong sense of your innate value and power to reshape your world.
3. A desire to improve FOCUS through better DECISION MAKING: Learning how to make better decisions improves your focus instantaneously. Most people spend a lot of time in indecision drama, on what to get done next, exactly when to do it and how to do it!
“When you are not in a decision, you are not in a solution and therefore you are trying to work while juggling a backpack full of problems!” Even though we may have often been told to ‘give it time’, decision-making does not take time at all. It is our brain that likes the idea of having more time because it is designed to conserve energy.
Instead of allowing your brain to talk you back into old ways of doing things, you get to learn how to make powerful decisions that change the way you think, act and create results through better focus!
4. A willingness to REST: “In order to have a 15 hour work week, we have to show up for those 15 hours 100%. That demands new levels of focus, which is tiring and in turn, requires rest.”
15 hours per week leaves a lot of time left to fill. You may be tempted to ask, ‘What would I do with all my spare time and empty space in my calendar?!’ This question in itself comes from what Vikki refers to as “the 40 hour mindset”, and how we’ve been trained to think about time and that therefore time MUST be filled with activity. Instead, learning how to think differently about REST holds the key to greater efficiency, creativity and life lived, now not later:
“Having unplanned open space might make you feel uncomfortable now, but not allowing for it will keep you in a reactive mode”, Vikki shares before going on to add that ‘‘space is where daydreaming happens, which breeds higher levels of creativity and play.’’
Check out her specifically designed *Rest Test* to find out more!
Giving your time to working 40 hours per week will not buy you time later. “Time, not money, is the currency of life”, according to Vikki, who has not only disproved the fallacy of currently accepted work-hour norms, but is inviting you to join her in disrupting all you knew about time, value and productivity. Time is after all, the only finite, irreplaceable resource that we have.