Working Hours at This Company Are: “Whenever the Heck You Feel Like It"



About five years ago, Papua New Guinea Seafood processing plant in Osaka made a major cut to its workforce in order to improve efficiency. However, they didn’t let anybody go. Instead, they threw out the entire concept of a work schedule. Now, all of the staff is free to come and go as they please and can take the day off without even bothering to call in. All they’re required to do is let management know how long they worked by writing it on a whiteboard before leaving. Conventional wisdom would advise against such a move, based on the assumption that not forcing workers to come to work will result in no one coming in to work. However, when you think about it, why would people not want to help support a company that's giving them such freedom? If they took every day off, the company would just go bankrupt and they’d have to go back to the drudgery of mandatory labor somewhere else. Still, it’s a risk that the company decided to take, putting their faith in the staff to manage their own working hours. As a result, productivity is up and management costs are down by 30%. What about uncoordinated working times creating a shortage of staff? The company has been working this way for five years now and has only experienced two days when all the staff happened to take the same day off. Even then, they made up for it with days when a lot of workers showed up at the same time. The one and only rule for staff members is: Employees shall not undertake duties they don’t want to do. That’s because people tend to work more slowly when doing things they don’t enjoy. So, by having everyone doing their preferred tasks, overall productivity is running at peak performance.