I wholeheartedly endorse Jacques Bille’s response to new legislation to impose a 35-hour week on French business (MW April 22), and I encourage marketers in this country to take a similarly positive view.
Flexibility is the key to marketing success and, as such, unnecessary constraints on business practice should be avoided. But by forcing business to rethink working practice, the new French legislation may ultimately provoke positive industry-wide change.
Marketers often mistakenly measure performance on “putting the hours in” and not output. This is damaging to business success. Working a 60-hour week does not make us more competitive as a nation, particularly if the same job, done efficiently, can be achieved in 35 hours or under – and arguably, with better results because of the tighter focus.
Altering any established working routines is not going to be easy. But, by thinking outside the box and making use of alternative working contracts, I believe British industry can not only cope with restricted working hours, but also create a more flexible and effective working environment for all. The results will speak for themselves.