American work culture has been a hot ticket topic lately. According to a survey conducted by HR Drive in 2021, nearly half of US workers were earning less money than they thought they deserved. Moreover, benefit packages and work expectations can widely vary from employer to employer.
The pandemic appeared to put a lot into perspective for many, leading to headline after headline of employers struggling to find desperately needed help. While some businesses are trying incentives such as hiring bonuses, others have turned to a more inventive approach.
This senior manager, who shared their proposal on Reddit’s Antiwork thread, attests their new approach has been highly effective, despite raising a lot of eyebrows.
Less Is More
“During COVID, our revenue skyrocketed as we were all able to work from home in a high demand industry,” the manager wrote. “My boss, the business owner, asked for my input in how we reward the team.”
The manager’s boss suggested a team activity or Christmas bonus as potential rewards. I speak for all introverts when I say a “team activity” sounds more like a punishment than a perk. And a Christmas bonus? Well, I’d spend that by December 31st.
Luckily for this small firm’s employees, their manager agreed. The manager began questioning “why we spend so much of our life working just to get by.”
“So, I put together a proposal,” the manager continued. “Let’s work less and give everyone more space in their personal life.”
The company’s boss accepted the proposal four months before the manager shared their story on Reddit. “All I can say is, wow,” they wrote. “What a difference it’s made to the team happiness—with no decline in revenue.”
Optional Mondays? Yes, Please
The manager outlined their proposal in three parts. The first reward was a permanent pay increase of 10% to all staff.
Additionally, each employee got an extra five days off per year. “I come from a country where four weeks is standard,” the manager added. “So, this increased to five weeks total.”
Finally—and perhaps the best perk yet—the firm made Monday an optional workday. “Finish all your work from last week? Great, don’t come in,” the manager continued.
“The week officially begins on Tuesday, and that’s when we meet together. Feeling a little behind? Your Monday is for you to catch up from home. And you don’t have to meet or work with anyone else.”
A Cure For Turnover
The manager explains that before this proposal, the small firm wasn’t doing too hot. With less than 30 staff members, the firm was more of a start-up than an established company.
“This company had a terrible turnover,” the manager said. But after implementing the new perks, employees were happier. They stuck around and worked hard. It was an obvious win for the employees, but the boss gained something, too.
“I believe this experience taught [the boss to have] respect for your workers,” they wrote. “[They] allowed me to pitch an idea to spend money on the team.”
By doing so, the firm could “save stress and potential money loss in the future.”
Of the thousands of commenters on this now-viral post, many found this well overdue.
“Hopefully, this is the outcome of this ongoing labor revolution,” one user commented about the manager’s proposal.
“The companies that realize they need to pay a fair wage and treat employees like human beings will thrive. And the rest will be slowly choked out of the market by lack of labor,” they continued.
Others added that this is a no-brainer. “We’re only alive for a limited time. And if we are lucky, we’ll spend a third of our waking hours in the prime of our life at work.”
“Companies will literally save money in the long run if they just pay a little more to keep people happy,” another user commented. “It doesn’t even have to come from the profits. Just take that pizza party money, and put it to better use.”
It sounds like at least one small firm has finally turned hip to this way of thinking. Now, it’s time to start pushing for this to be the new norm—not the exception.