Parkinson’s Law


Fascinating look at how one video game company made the transition to a four day work week.

In a lot of ways, the belief that the normal job is 9-to-5, Monday through Friday, has been steadily falling apart since the 1970s,” Hyman said, citing the draining nature of modern knowledge jobs, the fragmentation of service work via the gig economy and the need for many to work multiple jobs. There’s been a big reset with covid in thinking about, What is work? Why do I have to go to the office? And if I don’t have to go to the office, do I have to work five days a week?’”

Parkinson’s Law is one of my favourite business theories. Parkinson’s Law is the idea that work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion. If you’re given two weeks to complete a project, you will find a way to spread the work over those two weeks. However, if you’re given one week instead you will magically find a way to get the work done in half the time.

A shorter work week is only one possible solution for some companies. It’s not something that will work for everyone. I think the broader conversation should be looking at providing more flexibility regarding when and where people work. Asynchronous collaboration rather than forcing everyone to be in the same room at the same time every day.

March 7, 2022

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