Employees Of This Company Are Congratulated For Leaving Work Early

Nine-to-five does not apply here.

The nine-to-five status quo doesn't quite exist in this Australian company.

Collins SBA, a financial firm based in Hobart, introduced an experiment in 2017 by shortening the working day from eight to five hours.

Image via Madalin Milea

Yes, every employee - from receptionists to senior management - can leave work while the sun is still up and bright, provided they get the job done. 

The idea for this transition came to the company's managing director Jonathan Elliot when he had to spend more time to look after his cancer-stricken wife.

His family life drastically improved and he was surprised to find his work output didn't suffer. That got him questioning whether the nine-to-five lifestyle was really necessary.  

More than a year since the experiment was put in place, the company has no intention of cutting it short any time soon as productivity has increased tremendously

"Our staff produced the same workload, received the same pay, and had the same responsibilities. The idea was that if you could get all this done within a five-hour period, you were free to leave at 2.

"It really got people evaluating how they do something, and how they can do it better. It motivated them to evaluate every aspect of their role," the company's operations director Claudia Parsons told news.com.au.

Parsons noted that the amount of sick leave being taken also reduced dramatically. 

The company also scrapped time-wasting meetings and abolished emails in favour of a messaging system similar to Facebook

"In terms of email, everyone was getting incredibly bogged down," Parsons said. "We switched to a new technology called YaMma – it’s kind of like Facebook for business – for our non-urgent team updates, which people would log into just once or twice a day."

The most notable shift within the company, however, was in the definition of a good employee. Clocking out early is now praised and congratulated.

While there are occasional exceptions where employees worked longer hours, Parsons said the office has largely embraced the new system.

"People are getting congratulated for leaving early," she said. "The idea is that the five-hour work day was a reward, not a right. If you’re staying back late, you might get a tap on the shoulder, and asked what you’re still doing there when your whole team has left."

"There’s this beautiful freedom to being able to walk out the door in the middle of the afternoon and know you’re not being judged."

Do you think a five-hour workday could work in Malaysia? Let us know your thoughts in comments section below.

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