20% pay cut idea

from Reader Story: I Got a 20% Pay Cut — and Loved It!.

I’m glad this entry was posted on the Get Rich Slowly blog. I’ve had this idea for a while now, and it wasn’t until someone else wrote about it that I now feel un-crazy enough to write about this myself.

My idea—at least this particular crazy idea—stems from that crazy super-rushed feeling you get just before and just after vacation.  You work extra super duper hard to leave nothing hanging while you’re gone, then you work extra super duper hard to catch up on the things that you missed while you were out.  Sure, maybe one of your coworkers can cover your super necessary items, but still, the time is always crushed.  And while you’re gone? Your coworkers are crushed, too.

So how about this instead? For every team of 4, each team member takes a 20% pay cut and a 20% time cut. Yeah, they each get one day off a week, every week.  Then with that extra 80% pay the company is saving, they hire a fifth 80% employee?  Now the normal weekly work is spread out over 5 people, not four.  And if you’ve ever had a 4-day workweek, you know that the same number of crises and work gets done in 4 days as in 5.

Now you’ve got an extra person to cover for you (or your teammates) when you take vacation.  Your 80% work can be spread over 4 people rather than 100% of your work amongst 3 people.

Wait.  What about mortgage and bills?  Well, how about I live in a house that is 20% smaller, eat 20% less food, drive my car 20% less, etc etc.  In fact, by working 1 day less a week, most folks will automatically drive 20% less.  And maybe because of their day at home, they can pay for 20% less daycare?

Just a thought…


4 thoughts on “20% pay cut idea

  1. There’s one thing I am curious about. Is the pay cut simply because you would be working one day less per week, or would the scenario involve a pay cut on the days you’re working as well as the obvious 100% cut on the day you don’t work?

    1. It’s a work-fewer-hours, get-less-pay idea, but aimed more at salaried folks. I’m sure cutting hourly folks’ hours would do the same thing, but in either case the idea is it’s something that’s a win for the worker, not something that they don’t want. Someone living paycheck to paycheck might not dig this idea so much, for instance.

  2. I like this idea, but what about the “do more with less” mentality of the corporate world? whenever my old team lost a person, we’d have to make do without — until we were able to hire someone new, they said. but that person was never hired, so we just adjusted and did more work. and more work. and more work.

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