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工作如此,此生無「汗」A Three-day Working Week


曾為全球首富的墨西哥電信大亨史林姆(Carlos Slim Helu)表示,一週上三天班就夠啦!身為還沒看內容就表贊同的多數同胞們,我們就趕緊來看看他的見解!

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. 史林姆的建議聽起來很瘋狂,但在1922年時,亨利·福特(Henry Ford)宣佈他的員工要每週工作5天時,很多人也認為他瘋了。

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. 我們已經對於現在這樣的工作週習以為常了,因為這樣的工作狀態已經成為我們生活中的一部分了。世界上的很多地方(並非所有地方),週六和周日是休息日。但如果你的歲數夠大,你可能還記得當時週六早上要上班也是一件很正常的事情。

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. “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. 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. 人們在五、六十歲退休是不明智的,因為他們可能還有三分之一的壽命。他表示:「人們有必要工作到70或75歲,但每週只工作三天 ,而每天可能是11個小時。」在這個社會上,讓歲數較大的員工繼續工作是合理的,特別是在年輕人數量正不斷退減的社會,他們還需供養這些長壽且已退休的老年人。

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,” Mr Slim said. 這對於年歲較大的員工也很合理:工作與休閒相結合是很多人所希望的。史林姆表示:「如果一周只工作3天,我們就會有更多的時間來放鬆、提高生活品質。每週休息4天對於培養新的娛樂活動以及其他消磨時間的方式將非常重要。」

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. 他似乎認為,減少每週工作日的員工的收入應與全職工作時一樣。這就是他的墨西哥固定電話公司Telmex所發生的事情:符合退休資格的人可以選擇以每週工作四天的方式全薪工作。

Older workers elsewhere 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. 其他地方歲數較大員工可能會傾向於以更少的薪資減少每週工作日,每天工作8、9個小時,而非11個小時。他們公司可能會比較在乎留住他們經驗的同時,也可以節省薪資支出。

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. 其他人呢?那些失業、從事不重要的工作或者簽訂零時工合同的人,會喜歡每週工作3天,期間有穩定且不錯的收入。

Others in hospitals, supermarkets and petrol stations have to work at night, as well as on the weekends that Ford made rest days for his employees. 在醫院、超市和加油站工作的人需要上夜班,還要在週末上班,而週末是福特為他的員工安排的休息日。

But a shorter week would work for many others if their companies have the imagination to agree to it. 然而,如果企業具備想像力,同意這種安排,那麼減少每週工作日的計畫將適用於更多人。

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.


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.) 減少每週工作日並不適用於所有工作,但其適用範圍超過多數思想傳統管理者的想像。同意減少每週工作日,需要管理層思維做出兩項轉變。首先是要意識到,員工待在辦公室裡的很多時間都被浪費了。(在工作時間以外發出的多數電郵都是不必要的。在沒有電郵技術之前,我們的工作也做的很不錯。)

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. 高層管理者的工作時間通常是最沒有必要的。加拿大管理作家亨利?明茨貝格(Henry Mintzberg)發現,高管們忙來忙去,但沒有花太長時間關注任何事情。

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. 其次,高管需要明白,衡量人才的最佳方法是考察他們的工作成果,而不是他們每天在辦公桌前坐了多長時間。

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. 最重要的是,管理者需要意識到,人們的生活發生了變化。他們有孩子,有年邁的父母需要照顧。有幾年裡,他們的子女更需要他們,過了這段時間,他們的子女不再那麼需要他們。如果企業特別重視提拔女性的話,他們需要把這點考慮在內。上個月,我在香港參加了亞洲企業內部律師的一次午餐會,席間女士們談到了彈性工作制對於他們的職業晉升是多麼重要。

People living longer, in better health, are changing working life too. Mr Slim’s idea is in tune with the times. 隨著壽命延長、身體變得更健康,人們也在改變自己的工作方式。史林姆的想法符合時代潮流。


英文作者:Michael Skapinker

中文翻译:Janet 梁艳裳 译世界



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