Why the CEO of Basecamp Only Allows His Employees to Work 32 Hours a Week

There’s a CEO in the U.S. who has already adopted a shorter workweek for his employees—Jason Fried, the Chicago-based CEO of Basecamp.

Work Sucks Spencer Borisoff

During the months of May through September, Fried enforces a strict 32-hour workweek where employees work only four days a week. He prides himself on ensuring that his employees have well-balanced lives that don’t involve working around the clock.

“People are always surprised by that,” said Fried, “and I tell them you can get plenty of stuff done in 32 and 40 hours if you cut out all the stuff that’s taking up your time.”

Unlike many companies that rely heavily on standard meetings for team communication, Fried says there are no mandatory meetings on the schedule for Basecamp employees. The few meetings that do occur are limited to a small setting with few people involved.

“I can probably count on one hand how many times we’ve had a meeting with more than four people,” said Fried. “Less people helps a meeting to move a lot faster.”

With limited meetings and a shorter workweek, Chase Clemons (Basecamp’s customer support team lead) says the changes have actually helped him to do his best work.

“Thirty-two hours forces us to prioritize what we work on,” said Clemons. “It’s not about working faster, but rather working smarter.”

Fried believes shorter workweeks are key to a healthy company culture.

“If you’re overworked and tired you make mistakes, and mistakes are costly,” said Fried. “If [companies] want people to be sharp and make fewer mistakes you can’t work them 60-70 hours a week.”

I talk about issues like this in my book “Work Sucks!: A Funny View of a Serious Problem,” which you can find on Amazon by clicking here.

Listen to Author Spencer Borisoff on 102.5 The Bone on August 11!

I’ll be on 102.5 The Bone with A Cat Named Mo on Saturday, August 11. Tune in at 5 p.m. to hear me talk to Mo about my book Work Sucks!: A Funny View of a Serious Problem.Work Sucks Spencer Borisoff

5:00-6:00 p.m.
August 11, 2018 (Saturday)
102.5 The Bone
The Cat Named Mo Show

You can also find “Work Sucks!: A Funny View of a Serious Problem” on Amazon by clicking here.

A New Zealand Company Found Workers Are More Creative, Punctual, and Energetic When They Have a 4-day Workweek

A New Zealand company is making headlines for an experiment it conducted with its staff. For two months, the 240 employees at Perpetual Guardian worked a 4-day workweek (32 hours), but they were paid their usual salary for a 5-day workweek.

Work Sucks Spencer Borisoff

During the experiment, Perpetual Guardian staffers said they found daily strategies to be more efficient. For example, two-hour meetings were cut down to 30 minutes. Workers said that the change motivated them to find ways to increase their productivity while in the office.

Employees were not only more productive—they were happier. Employees reported a 24% improvement in work-life balance, and they came back to work energized after their days off. Many said they were able to spend more time with their families, while also doing more exercising, cooking, and gardening.

Supervisors noticed staff members were more creative and punctual, while also having better attendance. The staff’s actual job performance remained the same when working over the course of four days instead of five.

They worked out where they were wasting time and worked smarter, not harder,” said Jarrod Haar, one of the researchers.

The company found the experiment so successful that it actually wants to make the change to a 4-day workweek permanent.

I talk about issues like this in my book “Work Sucks!: A Funny View of a Serious Problem,” which you can find on Amazon by clicking here.


Tune in Wednesday to See Author Spencer Borisoff on Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend!

I’m here in the ABC Action News studio filming a morning news segment about my book “Work Sucks!: A Funny View of a Serious Problem.” Tune in Wednesday (7/25) to the Morning Blend at 10 a.m. to see me talk with Natalie Taylor about why work sucks and what we can do to fix it.

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You can also find “Work Sucks!” on Amazon by clicking here.

Why Your Company Needs a Shorter Workweek

The cotton has accidentally fallen out of the ears of the fat cats running corporate America, and they like what they hear—a shorter workweek for laborers means more productivity for companies.

working woman person technology

Until recently, the battle for flexible working hours has been mostly employee-driven. Now, there’s support from scientists and business leaders suggesting that reducing our workweek could have powerful business benefits for our employers, such as increased employee productivity.

Australian researchers have also found that the optimum number of working hours in a week for middle-aged workers is 25 hours. Once test subjects worked over 25 hours in a week, their cognitive performance decreased as “fatigue and stress” took over.

Growing evidence like this suggests that working too many hours a day is pointless because productivity plateaus as our focus slips.

A recent study found that only half of British workers spend six hours or more working productively, while one third admitted to wasting up to three hours a day because they were distracted or unable to concentrate.

Businesses would maximize employee productivity if they implemented shorter workdays because then employees could get all their work done before those distractions started kicking in.

It’s about judging people by their output,” said Karen Mattison, joint CEO of Timewise, “rather than their input.”

Employees who have been clamoring for a better work-life balance (for what seems like an eternity) may now finally have a chance to be healthier and happier.

I talk about issues like this in my book “Work Sucks!,” which you can find on Amazon by clicking here.

Rush Hour: An Exclusive Excerpt from “Work Sucks!”

Rush Hour

So many hearses and not enough early morning road. It’s not that the thousands of death vehicles clogging the streets are stretched too long for all to fit – because these hearses are not stretched at all.

traffic cars street traffic jam

Nor do they have heavily padded raised leather roofs, curtained back windows, or flapping flags formally announcing a somber parade in honor of the recently deceased.

No, these hearses blocking the boulevards are not a part of one gigantic memorial procession.

Each vehicle, instead, is separately transporting a body to a grave.

Strangely, none of the bodies are cold, stiff, or deadly still. Nor are they resting comfortably inside quilted caskets in the back of long funeral carriages, because these bodies are breathing, very much alive, voluntarily driving their cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans to their own burial grounds.

But they are not en route to cemeteries or their final resting places. And as miserable as most of the drivers are, they are each thankful to be burying only a tiny piece of themselves today, just like yesterday – and like tomorrow.

It is rush hour and everyone is headed to work, slowly dying by spending another dismal day on the job that they can never get back to live the way they want to live it.

My entire body aches and I can’t help but think it is because I have been digging my own ditch daily for longer than I wish to remember. Work has managed to siphon the life out of me, but I know I am not alone.

I stop at a red light (I actually do follow some rules) and notice a middle-aged woman in the death-mobile next to me brushing foundation across her pale face like an embalming artist applying makeup to a corpse for final goodbyes.

I want to say a prayer for her and for everyone else gradually decomposing all around me. But instead, I just mind my business and pull up to my own plot on a familiar, grim graveyard.

I am at work.

Find your copy by clicking here to continue reading “Work Sucks!”