Hey, everyone: Let’s cool it on the overtime

Twitter

Twitter: 140 characters, 10+ hour work day

This New York Times article talks about what a hilarious, carefree guy Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is. He ad-libs, bucks expectations, and (cough) encourages his employees to work past 10 PM.

Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal and an early investor at Facebook, once said of Twitter: “You could throw a grenade into Twitter’s offices after 6 p.m. and the only person you would kill is the cleaning lady.”

Not anymore, Mr. Costolo says.

“It’s really difficult to change a company’s culture, but I did this by making sure I stayed late,” he says. “I’d go home, have dinner with my kids and then come back into the office. People knew that if they were in the office at 10 p.m., I’d be here, too, and that’s when I would go around and talk to people and answer questions.”

As someone who works in the tech industry and cares about wellness, I’m continually amazed by some managers’ determination to drain every last hour of their employees’ lives.

Honestly, the most effective environments I’ve worked in were capped at a 40-hour work week, giving people an incentive to care about efficiency. Not only do those workers better value each others’ time, but their lives outside the office enrich their work inside it.

For some interesting background on the 40-hour work week, this Salon.com article by Sara Robinson is a good place to start. I also enjoyed this New York Times opinion piece and this Utne article.  (That is, should you have the time to read them.)

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