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Prime Time: The Argument for a 30-Hour Workweek

Posted by Susan LaPoint on May 2, 2016 7:30:00 AM
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escape_from_office.jpgWe have a few people over 40 on our team, and I’m happy to say I’m one of them. So when I saw this article titled, “Three-day working week 'optimal for over-40s,'” I was intrigued but also wary because ageism is widespread in business. Essentially, the article described a study of workers over 40, in which they were scored on mental tasks. Researchers looked at accuracy, brain stimulation, stress, exhaustion, etc. They concluded that the optimal workweek for those over 40 is somewhere between 25 to 35 hours a week, though work quality seems to decline slightly after 25 hours.

Granted, it’s one study, but in your 40s, you likely have a lot going on in life. I have work, personal writing, children, extended family, home responsibilities, and all the other little surprises that pop up as part of everyday life. (I’m not even including activities I don’t get to as often as I’d like—friends, exercise, hobbies, and well, HBO shows.)

However, part of getting older for me means getting wiser. Some of the most technologically capable people I know are over 40. They not only catch on quickly, but they know how to problem solve, how to not freak out unnecessarily, and possess skills you can only gain through experience.

So for the busy brain, one way to maximize your time is to cut out the busy work. Automate and simplify your tasks. With modern collaboration technologies, more companies are accommodating and even encouraging flexible working arrangements to keep workers happy and productive.

At Pivot, we make the most of our time for ourselves and our clients by using HubSpot to set up automated email workflows and auto responders. We use apps and software solutions that send out auto reminders so we don’t have to waste time checking project deadlines. We schedule blog and social media posts to avoid work interruptions. Those tools allow us to fit certain tasks into optimal work hours while also avoiding interruptions to our other work. So even if you take a three-day weekend, you know you’re not holding up important work.

Another way we maximize our work time is to allow remote work. We favor Skype and Zoom for chats with colleagues as well as video conferencing with clients. Many of our AV and tech clients create tools that enable and improve communication, so it’s been easy for us to embrace these technologies and the flexible, collaborative mindset.

We over-40-somethings have experience in weeding out what doesn’t work for us and finding resources that do work in simplifying our lives. Tell us about the technologies you use to better enjoy your off-time and your work time.