Foosball tables in the office, bleeding edge spaces, Friday afternoon beer blasts, elimination of hierarchies and a host of other concepts have changed the way we think about work, especially how and where it should be conducted.
Much of this is thanks to the impact of technology on our ability to produce and communicate value. And startups, because they are, by definition, looking for the new, are free from convention. Even countercultures have norms and mores, one of the most sacred in the tech world being the disregard for time and the so-called normal workday. Working late or 'odd' hours is considered standard and pulling all-nighters is a badge of honor. So it is noteworthy when a startup flouts that convention and ponders the possibilities of a job with a manageable workload and, heaven forfend, a life.
The theory is that this will lead to greater productivity and reduced burnout. Venture funding does not seem put off and for certain types of enterprises, this may well make sense. The broader implication is that innovation not be limited to the production of physical products but encompasses the way we work with them. JL
Anne Fisher reports in CNN/Money:
What if companies could prevent burnout (and reward their employees) by limiting the number of hours they worked?