Amazon Is Testing a 30-Hour Work Week, And It’s a Brilliant Idea

Amazon is reportedly testing a 30-hour work week on a few dozen employees, which some think is simply a response to the New York Times’ report last year on the company’s stressful work environment.

But many people believe a shorter work week is just flat-out smart, especially in industries like tech where workaholics are praised and insane hours are expected.

Furthermore, Stephan Aarstol, the CEO of Tower (his Tower Paddle Boards company is one of Shark Tank’s biggest success stories) might actually suggest Amazon push the envelope even further.

Tower’s 5-hour workday

On June 1, 2015, Aarstol moved his entire company to a five-hour workday, asking employees to arrive at 8am and leave at 1pm.

The “Yeah, go ahead and leave after lunch” experiment was supposed to last just three months, but it worked so well that Tower never reverted back. In fact, since making the switch, all numbers — including annual revenue — are up dramatically.

How is that possible?

As mentioned above, the argument against crazy hours is a familiar one. Humans aren’t machines and our productivity declines the longer we spend grinding — that’s just a fact.

At the same time, research proves that our productivity, effectiveness, and creativity all improve when we’re happy at work.

There’s also the idea that “scarcity” — or having less time — actually forces employees to be more efficient, creating periods of heightened productivity called “focus dividends.”


Tower’s five-hour workday isn’t really that crazy at all. It’s logical. And if Amazon’s test shows equally positive results, we could be looking at the new normal. Tee time at 3pm tomorrow, anyone?

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