Money & Business

Lunchtime Links: A Pitch for Working Less

By / Dec 16, 2013 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Creative types work differently than your rank and files. Does that mean they should be on a shorter work schedule? Also: WordPress gets an update that should please mobile users.

The 40-hour workweek might sound like an easy time for some people, but a recent theoretical suggests the 30-hour workweek might have a little extra value for your creative types.

Thoughts on slimmer schedules, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Workin’ 9 to 5 isn’t really working: Associations are full of creative types—web designers, writers, big-picture people. But are you really getting the most out of them by making them conform to a cookie-cutter work schedule? Quartz reports that certain types of employees might work better on six-hour schedules, with the sweet spot being closer to a 10 to 4 workday. “Unlike machines, humans operate on a cyclical basis, which means our energy and motivation fluctuate in peaks and troughs,” writes the site’s Lauren Davidson. “Cognitive workers tend to be more focused in the late morning, getting another energy boost in the late afternoon when lung efficiency peaks.” She also notes that “pushing employees to clock up those extra hours is bad for their well-being and detrimental to your company.” Crazy talk? Or could this be something to look at?

Party in the back: If you regularly update a blog, you already know the headache WordPress admin users have had for years. Despite the rise of mobile-friendly design, the admin interface of WordPress itself was anything but mobile friendly. That changed last week with WordPress 3.8. The latest version of the widely used CMS platform sports a new responsive look on the back end, designed to be a useful tool when you spot an error while reading and need to fix that story immediately. (Side note: Did you know that a community-focused approach drives the platform’s development?)

Rekindling an old debate: About a year ago, Gartner published a study on gamification that predicted 4-in-5 game models then in use would “fail to meet business objectives primarily because of poor design” by 2014. The ensuing debate raised a bunch of questions, and I even wrote a blog post about it. But as CMS Wire points out, the research firm is sticking by its earlier estimate, expecting the trend to fall into its hype cycle’s “trough of disillusionment” next year (the same spot in the cycle it expects big data to have reached). Even so, don’t give up hope, Gartner’s Brian Burke tells CMS Wire: The ones who do it well will still succeed. “Organizations that are successful in gamification are designing experiences that engage and motivate people to achieve their goals,” he says. “When player goals and organizational goals are aligned, everyone wins.” Burke sees the trend moving toward employees more than consumers. Your take?

What’s on your reading list today? Let us know your take in the comments.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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