I have been meaning to write this article for sometime, mind you it is the only way I am going to empty my inbox! I didn’t want to delete them as I felt they were quite unique and an interesting niche, so I wanted to give them a mention.
They are a relatively new company called ten2two, the name is based on the ideal hours for a mum, who wants to carry on working once the kids are old enough to go to school or nursery. Although I am not a mum, but a proud father I can relate to this on a number of levels, but for me to have been able to work from home and watch my two daughters grow up has been a privilege, which many fathers miss.
It is an undeniable fact that there are many professional and highly qualified women (and not forgetting the men of course) do not work, because companies generally do not have the imagination that maybe someone with the skills and experience could actually achieve the same if not more, than less experienced candidates who work 9to6.
I know I have said this before, but I will never forget meeting one of the top consultants at a major search and select company who worked flexible hours, she produced more revenue than her colleges in nearly half the time while bringing up her children.
Thankfully I am lucky to have a boss who was willing to take a chance, apart from not being in the office I am in another country and in the time I have been with Arithon, I have managed to double the amount of new clients to the previous year, which says it all I think.
There is no doubt that ten2two will suceed, the key is getting clients to see the advantages.
I am always so suprised with the difference in culture we have in Holland compared to all other European countries.
Part-time work is normal here. Three or four days is actually more common then five I think. And all voluntary part-time, not because the boss doesn’t want you more days.
Also, each and every research shows (both in Holland as well as in the US) that part-time work actually is more effective. I know a company in the US (IT development, websites, etc) that decided to go back to 4 days a week for the entire company, simply because it was summer, the sun was shining and they didn’t have a ‘beach office’ for nothing. Production dropped…. 0%. So they decided to keep on working 4 days a week for all.
Dutch research shows that almost everybody gets the same work done in 4 days as they do in 5. English research recently showed that British workes waste 33% of their time every day because over boredom. So, give them 20% of and they might just improve 10% 🙂
Stephen, thanks for your kind words about us. You hit the nail on the head when you said the key was making clients see the benefits. Many do already and many more practice flexible working without realising it but there are some who typify the image of the long-hours working culture of the british and refuse to even discuss it. There will always be people who are slow to change in areas like this – if David Cameron gets his way then they’ll be forced to adopt it and as we know, its easier to change at your own pace than have something forced on you.
Bas and his peers can see the business model for it. Hours do not = productivity!!