DeFi, Teal Organizations, and the 4-Day Working Week
9-5, Monday to Friday, the 40-hour, 5-day working week is the accepted standard in the modern world. It’s so ingrained in our culture that such phrases as “TGIF,” “Living for the weekend,” and the famous Dolly Parton song, 9 to 5, sum up pretty much everything when it comes to the working week. Interestingly enough, what seems to have been carved in stone for millennia only came to fruition as late as 1926! Before this, 80-100 hour working weeks were not an uncommon sight. Yet it was Henry Ford who popularized the concept of a 40-hour working week once he’d researched and discovered the benefits, especially regarding the increase in productivity. Technology has advanced so much in the past century that we are able to do far more than we ever could before. Nevertheless, the mere concept of working four days a week causes uproar among business and industry leaders. Working less and being paid the same? Absolute nonsense! In this article, I’ll be taking a look at whether using technology and harnessing the power of blockchain, DeFi, and Teal organizations, the proposal of the 4-day working week could make the jump from concept to reality.
A Blast from the Past and a Leap into the Future
Remember how pretty much everything relied on the postal service? Miss the cut-off point and it was a day down the drain. Waiting around for a response, scrambling to get things sent before the pick-up time. What if there was a strike? Well, that could be a whole week wiped off. When we look at the gadgets we have now, it seems almost unimaginable that we were only able to send SMS and make calls from one device, carry another should we want to listen to music (CD player and then iPod), and the idea of wifi, well, you were forced to listen to the awful sounds as you connected to the very limited, (and very slow) Internet. Things have advanced at dizzying speeds, ultimately, cutting down wasted time, improving efficiency, and allowing us to reach new heights.
A new trend making waves across the world is Teal Organizations. In essence, Teal Organizations function purely on workers’ self-management, completeness, and a profound sense of purpose. Yes, it might sound like an “end-of-the-rainbow” fantasy, but what it really boils down to is doing away with traditional management hierarchies, allowing workers to carry out tasks according to their rhythm, focusing on assignments that reflect their abilities, ultimately, allowing everyone to see the business as a living organism than some faceless monster consuming one employee after another. Moreover, hierarchy and behind-the-scenes deals are all but expelled from teal organizations. Transparency is the mot du jour, and with it, revolutionary steps are being made to take us to the future of the way we work.
Big Brother Is Watching You
The idea of transparency may leave some feeling a certain level of discomfort. After all, the thought of your life, the way you work, what you’ve done, and being open to scrutiny in front of your colleagues isn’t quite the image “profound sense of purpose” conjures. But don’t worry, this isn’t Game of Thrones and you’re not Cersei Lannister being marched through the streets with someone ringing a bell and shouting “shame.” So, let’s just take a step back. Humans are competitive by nature. If we’re not competitive, then we can at least agree that we are curious beings. Seeing how our peers are doing, and what they’ve accomplished in their working day can act as a great point of reference for what we’re doing. We can understand what’s going on in the company, who’s doing what, and if we’re keeping up or dragging behind. Furthermore, the concept of transparency in Teal Organizations gives workers the freedom to voice opinions or concerns. No longer will fear hang over the heads of workers like the Sword of Damocles. Irritation and frustration can also be quashed to a greater extent. For instance, if your boss walks into a meeting late, but carrying Starbucks, everyone notices, but who would dare utter a whisper of protest? Maybe someone should say something? Teal Organizations give everyone a voice. Think you deserve a promotion? Ask. Put it to your colleagues and see what they think. You’re free to give constructive feedback and also receive it, henceforth tearing down uncomfortable conversations, uneasy silences, and awkward stares and focusing on being better. It truly is a socialist’s dream. Whether you’re at the bottom of the pile or at the top, everyone needs to enter the workplace as a professional.
Clarity and Unlocking Potential: DAOs Are the Way
This brings me smoothly on to the future of how we do business. No, this isn’t an attempt to plug an idea that’s a few years off in the future. This technology already exists and it’s started to make a big splash where it counts: doing business. Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (or DAOs) take transparency to the max. Think of DAOs like a group conversation with a bank account attached. Imagine a group of like-minded people who want to set up a business. They will immediately be confronted with never-ending negotiations, presenting and ratifying documents — we get the picture. It doesn’t take a huge stretch of the imagination to understand the toils and troubles of founding a business. Moreover, the underlying element that really stifles business development is mistrust. We’re automatically programmed to be skeptical, so double-checking, (maybe even triple-checking) everything can soon add up in terms of time and money — none of which bode well for a budding startup, full of energy and enthusiasm. Trust is the element that DAOs aim to guarantee. Based on blockchain technology, participants are able to purchase crypto tokens, which carry certain rights and responsibilities, the company aims are specified in a white paper, and any decisions are made at a quorum. Everything is transparent, everyone has a voice, and as the organization works on blockchain, security has never been higher. It’s no wonder that DAOs are expected to boom in the coming years.
The 4-Day Week
Finally, we arrive at the big question: can we really cut down the working week to four days? The idea has been played around for a while now. As with all businesses, the Covid-pandemic sent shockwaves throughout the working world and drastically changed not only the way we think about work but the way we cooperate and function. Working from home didn’t turn us all into couch potatoes. According to Forbes, “companies noticing a decrease in operating costs and an increase in business profits.” As a result, online meetings, flexible working, and hybrid positions have stuck with many companies following the return to normality and the trend will continue in this direction. So, are we ready for the next big step? After all, we have the technology at hand, is it really just a case of waiting for a green light from corporate? Sweden tested the four-day working week back in 2015. Although the experiment reported positive results, it faced criticism, even from left-wing parties and many companies were reluctant to spend money on the project. Despite the success, the scheme wasn’t repeated. The concept of four-day working weeks is popular across Europe with Germany reporting 71% of workers favoring the option to work only four days a week. However, uncertainty and doubts continue to plague the idea and worries as to whether it would be “feasible.”
This brings us to the UK and its current four-day trial. Being very popular among the population, 80% would prefer a four-day working week. With a newly appointed Prime Minister with an appetite to crack the crypto world, the UK could really run with the idea of four-day working weeks, especially against the backdrop of blockchain technology development.
To conclude, if we analyze the benefits of flexible working patterns, attracting and retaining talented professionals, fewer burnouts, and generally happier staff, it becomes clear that such a pattern goes hand in hand with Teal organizations and DeFi. Of course, there will always be industries that require round-the-clock maintenance and such models wouldn’t be suitable. Yet, the vast majority of industries will be able to benefit from such structures. After all, the aim is to nurture and develop a business that not only delivers results but propels the company in its industry. Such groundbreaking concepts and ideas don’t simply brush the cobwebs off the shackles of the traditional workplace, they blow them out of the water. And with such freedom and innovation, what’s not to like? My friends, the future is here in all its teal-colored, blockchain-based glory.