Flexibility in the workplace: The three-day working week | RADIO ABC FNQ

r1311858_18059508By Isaac Egan and Phil Staley

On the surface the three-day working week might seem like it only benefits the employee, but business futurist Morris Miselowski says there are broader benefits to the concept than you might think.

Mr Miselowski says there will always be industries in which you need to be there for a set period, but for some industries nine to five is actually an inefficient model.

“We are really beginning to ask ourselves, when is the most appropriate time to be doing this work, where is the most appropriate place to be doing this work,” he said.

“Let’s answer those questions … rather than just trying to shoehorn it into a nine to five.”

Technology and workplace efficiency

Mr Miselowski says technology has enabled us to think differently about working hours.

“We are able to connect with each other really easily, regardless of whether we are physically somewhere or not,” he said.

“All of these things make it possible not to be together as often as possible in one space, but rather to be in many spaces doing work where and when it is required.”

He says it is already happening in many workplaces, but more in the form of general flexibility of hours.

“The top end of town don’t ask their people to come in anymore because they are working on site with their clients again, and they are doing it at times that are relevant to their clients,” he said.

“We have begun to do it on the quiet, so we are already beginning to see flexibility in the workplace.

“There are lots of people out there doing it; I think it is a quiet revolution.”

Why do we do nine to five?

Mr Miselowski says the nine to five model is based on very different times.

“The reason we have nine to five was because we moved off the land into industrial revolution,” he said.

“We all had to turn up at a particular time; many hands made light work so we all worked for a particular period of time.

“That whole paradigm of what we used to have really doesn’t suit us anymore.”

 Family life

Mr Miselowski says if used appropriately and effectively, flexibility of working hours can have a positive effect on family life.

“Currently what we are trying to do is compact family life in to a day or a couple of days per week. But wouldn’t it be great when our kids have something on at school, where before we might not have been able to go, we can now quite easily go, no guilt attached?” he said.

“So I think that the family will be able to actually manufacture time that suits them and their activities and what they like doing rather than trying to squeeze it all into the weekend hours.

“As long as the work is done appropriately, it is done to specification and on time … then I don’t think that it really matters how.”


Eye on the Future - Aug 4, 2014 | All, Business, Housing & Construction, Radio Interview, Work
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