Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Shorter Workweek & Healthcare Benefits

Many people in America work 40 hours per week because it gives them healthcare benefits such as medical, dental and vision; however many companies don't offer any healthcare benefits for full-time employees, and it seems that only larger companies offer the best benefits overall. The challenge (when you are wanting to work a shorter workweek) is how to maintain your current benefits or perhaps go outside the company to find a plan that you can afford. If you work half time (20 hours per week), your benefits may be cut in half as well. A large percentage of people work full-time just to get healthcare benefits, as they don't like their jobs, and they dislike working 40 hours per week.

Since the United States doesn't have a National Healthcare Plan, it means that you have to either be without insurance, purchase it at a very high cost or find a state that has a subsidized plan (such as Washington State's Basic Health Plan). Of course, with a plan such as Basic Heath, you can't earn over a certain amount, so it doesn't encourage a person to find a job that pays enough to live on.

A new book (published in 2005) entitled Uninsured in America: Life & Death in the Land of Opportunity by Susan Starr Sered and Rushika Fernandopulle lists some interesting resources in the back of their book. Some of the web sites mentioned are as follows:









For more information about this book and to read the introduction, visit the following web site:


Michael Moore's newest film, Sicko, is scheduled to be out in the theaters sometime in 2007. On his web site, Michael states that Sicko is "a comedy about 45 million people with no health care in the richest country on earth." For more information about his film, visit http://www.michaelmoore.com.

There are a few companies in the United States that offer healthcare benefits for people working 20 hours a week, but they are usually service companies whose starting salaries are close to minimum wage, such as a coffee company and some grocery stores. Also these jobs are grueling and tiring, so they seem to attract very young workers, who never seem to need insurance anyway. We need a National Healthcare Plan in the US, and not one that is tied to employment; however, who knows how long it will take before we see changes in our healthcare system.

I know several people (over 45 years of age) who don't have any health insurance. They work for themselves, and most work a shorter workweek. Of course, they would like to have insurance, but they can't afford to pay for it. These people do not worry about not having it, as they mentioned that it doesn't do any good to worry. At least they are doing work they love and maintaining a good Work/Life balance.

I hope the above web sites and the book will be of some help to all of you.

Please leave comments here about how you manage to work a shorter workweek and maintain your health insurance.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Job Sharing - A Great Way to Get a Shorter Workweek

It can be difficult to get a shorter workweek at your current place of employment, as so many companies are asking people to work MORE than 40 hours per week. A friend of mine works at a production plant (four 10-hour days). They were told yesterday they now have mandatory overtime and will now be working 12 hours per day Monday through Thursday AND 10 hours on Friday until a few days before Christmas. Can you imagine 12-hour days? I can't even imagine 10-hour days, and I don't like the 8-hour day either.

Today, I discovered a NEW web site for people who are interested in Job Sharing, http://www.jobshareconnection.com. The article where I found this web site was entitled "Share a job, keep a job" from today's St. Petersburg Times. I encourage you to check out this web site and let others know about it as well.

Job Sharing can be the answer to a Shorter Worktime advocate's dream. If you can work it out so that you only have to go into your office 2 days one week and 3 the next instead of 4 hours a day, five days a week, that would really help lower your gas expense as well as reduce your stress.

You may have a reduction in your benefits such as vacation, sick time and health care, but perhaps you can work that out with your employer. Overall, I believe this is one of the best ways to lower your working hours and have a better Work/Life balance.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Looking To Get Out of the Rat Race? Two New Books are a Must Read!

Getting tired of the Rat Race? Have you been trying to get a Shorter Workweek for years, but the boss is not willing to listen? Are you tired of working Monday through Friday, and sometimes on Saturday with a 40+ hour workweek?

Two new books have been published that may offer you some hope as well as new ideas:

Real Success Without a Real Job: There Is No Life Like It! by Canadian author Ernie J. Zelinski

How to be Free by British author Tom Hodgkinson

Ernie's web site is http://www.thejoyofnotworking.com

Tom's web site is http://www.idler.co.uk

People for a Shorter Workweek also has a book list of very interesting books that can help you on your road to recovery from the Rat Race. Please email us at moreleisure @ yahoo dot com with a "Request for the PSW Booklist" in the subject line.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Slow Down Now

This is a hilarious animation about overwork and our frenzied lives from SlowDownNow.org web site! Make sure you have your speakers turned on.


New Web Sites

Hello Shorter Worktime Advocates,

We have added some new and interesting web sites, which we hope you will enjoy.


Work LESS, Play MORE, Enjoy LIFE!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

SAS in Cary, NC Has a 35-Hour Workweek

SAS in Cary, NC was one of the first companies to offer a shorter workweek. In 1976, when the company was founded by CEO Jim Goodnight, SAS established a flexible work schedule along with a 35 hour workweek. They also have a variety of employee-friendly perks.

In 1983, they established an on-site health care center, and in 1984, they opened their on-site recreation and fitness center. All programs and services in this center are free to employees. They also established a wellness program.

In 1992, SAS developed a Work Life Initiatives Department and was listed in the book, 100 Best Companies to Work for in America.

In 1998, SAS was named in two business books recognizing companies with outstanding employee-friendly practices, Contented Cows Give Better Milk and Good Company.

This year (2006), SAS celebrates their 30 year anniversary. Also, this is SAS' ninth straight year on FORTUNE's list of "100 Best Companies to Work For".

For more information about SAS, visit their web site at http://www.sas.com.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

PepsiCo Offers Employees Shorter Workweek During the Summer

From an article dated February 1, 2006 on The Society for Human Resource Management web site:

"The HR managers polled, whose organizations ranged in size from fewer than 25 employees to more than 2,000, cited the following strategies they use to keep employees from riding off into the sunset:

• Provide a workplace that respects, encourages and enables work/life balance, and provide a workplace “brand” experience that satisfies workers on many levels. Yahoo! offers on-site dental services at some of its locations, for example, and PepsiCo offers employees a shorter workweek during the summer to give them greater personal time, the report noted."

Several other strategies were listed. The entire article can be viewed at this address: http://www.shrm.org/hrnews_published/CMS_015681.asp

If you want to contact PepsiCo and congratulate them on offering their employees a shorter workweek during the summer, you can write to the CEO at the following address:

STEVEN S. REINEMUND (He has been PepsiCo’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since May 2001)
PepsiCo, Inc.
700 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577
(914) 253-2000
Web site: http://www.pepsico.com

Monday, January 30, 2006

Indiana Company Has a 30/40 Plan for Production Workers

When Metro Plastics Technologies in Columbus, Indiana, couldn't find enough workers for its production line, it decided to implement a radical "30/40" plan: Offer people 30 hours of work for 40 hours of pay. The company was soon flooded with applicants. Here is the information about the company. We should all congratulate this company for using "Timesizing" technology! (See link to Timesizing.com on the left side of my blog). Note: Send your letters and emails to the President's attention - check their web site for the current President's name.

Metro Plastics Technologies, Inc. 9175 East 146th Street, P.O. Box 1208 - Noblesville, IN 46061-1208 Voice: (317) 776-0860
E-mail: info@metroplastics.com