Confession time. I have always loved the idea of a 4-day working week. So much so, that at our last teambuilding event I was even bold enough to write ‘4-day week’ on our 2022 vision board. After all, a 4-day week will force us to work smarter not harder, we’ll have more work/life balance, increased well-being and it’ll help us all create a happier, more sustainable future.
So popular is the idea, that the UK began piloting a 4-day/32-hour week back in January with about 30 companies signing up for the trial. Idiots.
After four 4-day weeks in a row, I’m now firmly with Forbes and the realisation that the four-day work week doesn’t work. It’s too disruptive, it doesn’t serve small business owners or employers, and actually adds to an employee’s stress levels. The last four weeks have been hectic.
According to Forbes, flexibility (not Fridays) is the answer. As Lindsay Tjepkema writes, “Dictating one-size-fits-all flexibility negates the point. Some weeks are busier than others. Sometimes flexibility does mean a Friday off, but other times, it’s something else. We must prioritise rest and boundaries. It’s silly to replace dynamic, flexible work with a mandated day off.”
It’s a great read, and it got me thinking about rest, boundaries and productivity. And Fridays. In fact, I think Dennis Shiao, Founder of Attention Retention (a B2B marketing agency) may have the right idea. He believes that on Fridays, we should have no meetings or deliverables due. Just the opportunity to catch up and shrink the to-do list.
Imagine that? A day for admin, emails, ticking off your to-do list – or deep work. Just no meetings or deadlines. A way to end the week quietly and productively, and start Monday ahead of the curve. According to Shiao, it could be better than a 4-day week. Sign me up.
Time management strategies have been a hot topic for a while now, even more so when WFH blurred the boundaries between work life and home life . But as Sinem Günel points out, energy – not time – is our most valuable resource. And if you can’t protect your energy, no amount of time management strategies (or flexible Fridays) will help. According to Günel, there are 6 daily habits that ruin your energy. You need to stop:
- Killing your energy so soon (in other words, time to prioritise peaceful mornings)
- Taking your problems so seriously
- Treating your body like crap
- Wasting your time arguing with people who don’t want to understand you
- Allowing your routines to become toxic instead of helpful
- Scrolling, and scrolling, and scrolling
It’s good advice for the start of a new month – as is Kevin Kelly’s list of ‘103 bits of advice I wish I had known when I was young’. Happy May everyone, let’s make it a good one!
Last month, Samsung launched an epic, ‘anthemic’ ad to celebrate ‘Gen Z’s night owls and their unconventional active schedules’. Is that a thing? Unconventional active schedules? As a Gen-X mother of two Gen Zs, I know they are night owls … but they’re yet to get off YouTube to lace up their takkies at 2am.
To set the scene: the minute-long spot shows a young woman heading out in the middle of the night for a run. Tracking her progress with a Galaxy watch, she’s accompanied by an owl flying overhead as she encounters other young people enjoying the night, including cyclists, skateboarders and a ballet dancer. After all, don’t Gen Zs do life – including wellness and exercise – their way? The ad supports the “Your Galaxy. Your Way” campaign. Lots of money was spent. This is big-ad budget.
Except … how did they get it so horribly wrong?
By not having the right people in the room. And women were quick to respond:
“Ok. Michael…Matthew…Eric… Nick…. Thought up the ad in which a woman goes jogging at 2am. With earbuds.”
“I started watching it thinking, ugh, this is going to be a horror movie. But then …it wasn’t. And that didn’t seem to be the point. And right now I’m baffled. But also sort of angry about it.”
At best, Samsung can be accused of trying too hard to win over a younger audience. But what they’ve done is completely ignore the lived reality of women (young and old) everywhere – and the fact that women are not safe, let alone on the city streets at 2am with earbuds in.
Yes, it’s just advertising. Yes, advertising often depicts a bright, shiny, utopian world. But we need female voices, Black voices, young voices, old voices, LGBTQI+ voices in the room if advertising is ever to be authentic and effective.
I stumbled upon a really simple example of ‘age inclusivity’ when stalking Tim Urban’s (founder of Wait But Why) Twitter feed. As he says, ‘life is a multi-generational collaboration’:
Life. Marketing. Strategy. Creativity. It should all be a wonderful collaboration and inclusion has never been more important. In 2022, brands should not be making the same mistake over and over again.
What the world was musing over this past week
Qantas launches Project Sunrise
Could you do 20 hours on a place? Long-haul just got serious with Qantas confirming that non-stop flights from Sydney to London and New York will be a reality by 2025 – thanks to an order of 12 Airbus A350-1000 ultra-long range aircraft.
Bad Yelp reviews made into posters for National Parks
Sometimes life requires a sense of humour … like when reading bad reviews. Happily these Yelp reviews make for fantastic posters.
Condé Nast’s guide to weed and travel
With cannabis now legal in terms of private, recreational use in many parts of the world (including South Africa), Condé Nast takes a bold and different look at weed and travel – according to women who know both.