Why Slim's three-day week is a great idea

卡洛斯·斯利姆(Carlos Slim)建议,我们应该每周工作3天。这听上去有些疯狂。但1922年,当亨利·福特(Henry Ford)宣布他的员工将每周工作5天时,很多人也以为他疯了。

Carlos Slim’s proposal that we work a three-day week sounds crazy. But many, in 1922, thought Henry Ford crazy when he announced that his staff would work a five-day week.

对我们而言,我们的工作周似乎再正常不过了,因为我们一直知道这样的工作制度,而且其他所有人也都知道。在这个世界的很多地方(而非所有地方),周六和周日是休息日。但如果你的岁数足够大的话,你可能还记得周六早晨上班曾经也是一件很正常的事情。

Our working week seems normal to us because it is what we have always known and what everyone else does. In much, but not all, of the world, Saturdays and Sundays are days off. But if you are old enough, you can remember when it was normal for people to work on Saturday mornings too.

那么,这位墨西哥电信业大亨、全球第二大富豪是否将与福特一样,开启职场生活的大变革?

So could Mr Slim, the Mexican telecoms boss and the world’s second- richest man, be heralding a change in working life to match Ford’s?

对于那些他最担心的人——不愿意退休的员工——而言,他的建议肯定可以与福特改革相比。斯利姆关于每周工作3天的声明是在巴拉圭的一次商业会议上发表的。
He certainly could be for those he was most concerned about when he made his three-day-week statement at a business conference in Paraguay: the workers who are not ready to retire.

正如斯利姆所言,人们在五、六十岁退休是不明智的,他们未来可能还有三分之一的寿命。

As Mr Slim said, it no longer makes sense for people to stop working in their fifties or sixties when they may still have up to a third of their lives ahead of them.

他表示:“人们有必要工作更多年头——直到70或75岁,每周只工作三天,每天也许是11个小时。”

“People are going to have to work for more years, until they are 70 or 75, and just work three days a week – perhaps 11 hours a day,” he said.

让年岁较大的员工继续工作对社会是合理的,特别是在年轻人数量正不断减少的社会,这些年轻人将需要供养还有很长寿命的退休人员。

Keeping older employees at work makes sense for societies, especially those with a diminishing number of young people who are expected to support long-living pensioners.

这对于年岁较大的员工也很合理:工作与休闲相结合是很多人所希望的。74岁的斯利姆表示:“如果一周只工作3天,我们就会有更多的时间来放松;提高生活品质。每周休息4天对于培养新的娱乐活动以及其他消磨时间的方式将非常重要。”

It also makes sense for older employees: a mix of work and leisure is what many want. “With three work days a week, we would have more time to relax; for quality of life. Having four days [off] would be very important to generate new entertainment activities and other ways of being occupied,” the 74-year- old Mr Slim said.

他似乎认为,减少每周工作日的员工的收入应与全职工作时一样。这就是他的墨西哥固定电话公司Telmex所发生的事情:符合退休资格的人可以选择以每周工作四天的方式全薪工作。

He appeared to be suggesting that these short-week workers earn the same as they did full-time. That is what happens at Telmex, his Mexican fixed-line phone company, where those eligible for retirement can opt to work four-day weeks on full pay.

其他地方的年岁较大员工可能会倾向于以更少的薪资减少每周工作日,每天工作8、9个小时,而非11个小时。他们的公司可能在乎留住他们的经验,同时节省薪资支出。

Older workers else where might prefer shorter weeks at reduced pay – and eight or nine-hour days rather than 11. Their companies might value retaining their experience while saving money on their salaries.

其他人呢?那些失业、从事不重要的工作或者签订零时工合同的人,会喜欢每周工作3天,期间有稳定且不错的收入。

What about everyone else? There are those who are unemployed, or in tenuous jobs, or on zero-hours contracts, who would be delighted to have three secure, well-paid days of work a week.

在医院、超市和加油站工作的人需要上夜班,还要在周末上班,而周末是福特为他的员工安排的休息日。

Others in hospitals, supermarkets and petrol stations have to work at night, as well as on the weekends that Ford made restdays for his employees.

然而,如果企业具备想象力,同意这种安排,那么减少每周工作日的计划将适用于更多人。

But a shorter week would work for many others if their companies have the imagination to agree to it.

我手下曾有十来名家里有小孩的员工(几乎都是母亲),他们每周工作三或四天。几乎所有人都比那些每周工作5天的同事效率更高,也更勤奋。总的来说,他们更专心,而且更有条理。

I have managed about a dozen working parents (almost all women) on three or four-day weeks. They have, in almost all cases, been more productive and industrious than their five-day-week colleagues. They were generally more focused and better organised.

减少每周工作日并不适用于所有工作,但其适用范围超过多数思想传统的管理者的想象。同意减少每周工作日,需要管理层思维做出两项转变。首先是要认识到,不管怎样,员工呆在办公室里的很多时间都被浪费了。(在工作时间以外发出的多数电邮都是不必要的。在没有电邮技术之前,我们的工作也做的很不错。)

Shorter weeks don’t work in every job, but they work in more jobs than most tradition-bound managers think. Agreeing to them requires two shifts in management thinking. The first is the realisation that much of the time spent in offices is wasted anyway. (And most of the emails sent outside working hours are unnecessary. We coped before we had the technology to send them.)

高层管理者的工作时间通常是最没有必要的。加拿大管理作家亨利·明茨贝格(Henry Mintzberg)发现,高管们忙来忙去,但没有花太长时间关注任何事情。

Senior managerial working hours are often the least necessary of all. Henry Mintzberg, the Canadian management writer,discovered that top executives buzzed around without focusing for too long on anything.

电视集团Granada前负责人格里·罗宾逊勋爵(Sir Gerry Robinson)告诉英国《金融时报》:“我一般工作时间不长。你要非常确定,你没有把时间花在不重要的事情上。”

Sir Gerry Robinson, once head of Granada, the television group, told the Financial Times: “I’ve always worked short hours.You make very sure that you do not spend time doing things that are not important.”

其次,高管需要明白,衡量人才的最佳方法是考察他们的工作成果,而不是他们每天在办公桌前坐了多长时间。

Second, senior executives need to understand that the best way to measure people is by the work they produce – not by how much time they spend at their desks.

最重要的是,管理者需要意识到,人们的生活发生了变化。他们有孩子,有年迈的父母需要照顾。有几年里,他们的子女更需要他们,过了这段时间,他们的子女不再那么需要他们。如果企业特别重视提拔女性的话,他们需要把这点考虑在内。上个月,我在香港参加了亚洲企业内部律师的一次午餐会,席间女士们谈到了弹性工作制对于他们的职业晋升是多么重要。

Above all, managers need to grasp that people’s lives have changed. They have children, and elderly, needy parents. There are years when their children require them more and others when they need them less. If companies are serious, particularly, about promoting women, they need to take this into account.At a lunch I attended in Hong Kong last month for Asian company in-house lawyers, the women spoke about how important flexible working was to advancing their careers.

随着寿命延长、身体变得更健康,人们也在改变自己的工作方式。斯利姆的想法符合时代潮流。

People living longer, in better health, are changing working life too. Mr Slim’s idea is in tune with the times.

英文作者:Michael Skapinker

中文翻译:Janet 梁艳裳 译世界

来源:译世界 http://www.yeeworld.com/read/tranOriView/oid/2355.html

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