Be More Productive. Take Time Off.
IN the Midwest we’re all very aware of seasons and seasonal change. The cold, the warm, the wet, the dry, the hot — we have it all every year. Some seasons are more welcome than others, but they’re all good about one thing: change.
Change is important. When we were growing up, we got summers off from school. Summer vacation was change. It was something to look forward to. A few months of something different really meant a lot.
We grow out of a lot as we grow up. One of the most unfortunate things we leave behind is a regular dose of change. Nowhere is this more evident than at work.
Work in February is the same as work in May. June’s the same as October. And it would be hard to tell August from April.
Yes, some businesses are more seasonal than others, but ultimately the stuff we do at work isn’t that much different — it’s just busier some times than others. That isn’t change, it’s just more volume.
I wanted to do something about this. So, at 37signals, the software company I’ve run for the past 13 years, we take inspiration from the seasons and build change into our work schedule.
For example, from May through October, we switch to a four-day workweek. And not 40 hours crammed into four days, but 32 hours comfortably fit into four days. We don’t work the same amount of time, we work less.