Upcoming readings, talks, and workshops

I’m going to be speaking about SHORTER and the 4-day week at the University of Kent next month. The talk is being hosted by the Sociology department, and my friend Heejung Chung (whose research on flexibility stigma, especially this article and this article is really first-rate).

Here’s the abstract:

The new Finnish PM has just announced that Finland will be moving into a 4 day week and a 6 hour working day. Many consider this bonkers, whilst others argue that this may be the way forward, especially when we consider the impact of long hours work on our health, society, and the environment….

In his new book Alex turns his focus towards the employers’ side, and how we can change organisations to become more productive through a 4-day week. The new book Shorter tells the story of entrepreneurs and leaders all over the world who have discovered how to shrink the workweek without cutting salaries or sacrificing productivity or revenues. They show that by reducing distractions, eliminating inefficiencies, and creating time for high-quality focus and collaboration, 4-day workweeks can boost recruitment and retention, make leaders more thoughtful and companies more sustainable, and improve work-life balance.

You can RSVP here for the talk!

I’ve never been to Canterbury, so it’ll be something new for me.

I’m speaking at the RSA on February 13 on how to “Work Less and Get Things Done.” It’s a lunchtime talk, from 1 to 2 pm (or 1300 to 1400 if you’re on railroad time), in Great Room at their offices on John Adam Street, between the Strand and the Victoria Embankment Garden (here’s a map).

The event is free, but you can RSVP here.

The event marks the launch of the promotion in the UK for SHORTER: HOW WORKING LESS WILL REVOLUTIONISE THE WAY YOUR COMPANY GETS THINGS DONE. For me, it’s also exciting for another, nerdier reason.

The RSA— or Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, to use its full name— has a distinguished history. It traces its origins to meetings 1754 in Rawthmell’s Coffee House in Covent Garden (not far from the RSA’s permanent building), and is one of many scientific societies that crystallized out of the network of people and ideas that circulated around Enlightenment London. I read a lot about its early history when I was in graduate school— and now I get to speak there.

It’s also an ideal venue for talking about SHORTER: the book is all about productivity and work and applying scientific research to commercial problems, which is exactly the sort of thing the RSA was founded to work on. It’s not exactly navigation or chemistry, but in today’s knowledge economy, some of the biggest problems we have to solve don’t involve mechanisms or supply chains, but people.

I’ll be speaking and signing copies of SHORTER (US|UK) at the Ferry Building in San Francisco on the evening of March 18, 6:30-8:30.

The talk is sponsored by Book Passage, and will actually take place in the fabulous SHACK15, a new space on the second floor of the Ferry Building. I’ve never been, but it looks very cool. (There’s also a SHACK15 in London. Don’t go to that one! It looks like a nice place, but that’s the wrong one.)

The event is free, but you should register beforehand at the Book Passage event page .

Welcome to Strategy + Rest

Strategy + Rest is bringing the power of rest to business.

Overwork seems inevitable and inescapable in today’s world. Tech CEOs and business legends boast about how little they sleep. Long hours are a rite of passage, exhaustion a badge of honor. Success is an all-or-nothing race against time: If you don’t make it big before you burn out or your skills become obsolete, you risk falling into ranks of gig economy drones or “consultants.“

We all know this is unsustainable. We’ve all dealt with challenges around burnout, struggled with work-life balance, or made difficult tradeoffs between our personal and working lives.

Overwork is bad for companies, too: burned-out employees are less productive than well-rested workers, less engaged at work, more likely to leave, and even more likely to cut ethical corners.

Indeed, Stanford business professor Jeffrey Pfeffer argued recently that the health costs of badly designed or toxic workplaces make work as significant a health hazard as smoking. And employee burnout costs the global economy an estimated $300 billion a year in sick days and lost productivity.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way.

It’s possible for companies to be more productive, more sustainable, and happier places; to attract and retain great workers; to encourage better collaboration and creativity between workers; and to remove the structural obstacles that make it harder for women to rise in their workplaces and professions.

How can you do all this? By shortening the workweek.

All over the world, companies in a variety of industries have redesigned their workdays, allowing them to work less while doing more, and giving back time to workers.

This emerging global movement is described in the new book by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, SHORTER: WORK BETTER, SMARTER, AND LESS— HERE’S HOW. Through Strategy + Rest, Alex is bringing the knowledge and insights presented in that book to companies that want to trial their own shorter workweeks.

Overwork isn’t our destiny. Through keynotes, workshops, and 90-day trials, Strategy + Rest can show you another way of working, and helps you get there. Let us explain how.

You can also read more about SHORTER; catch up on our ongoing research on shorter working hours; learn about founder Alex Soojung-Kim Pang and his trilogy of books on time, technology and work, SHORTER, REST: WHY YOU GET MORE DONE WHEN YOU WORK LESS and THE DISTRACTION ADDICTION; or contact us.

Woowa Brothers

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