Part-time jobs: The future of work?
While it’ll be exciting and interesting to see what comes of the company’s experiment, the real question is whether other companies will start similar programs, and if the idea will have any real impact on the economy at large. In a time where many people are already having trouble finding enough work to make ends meet, and millions more facing redundancy due to technological innovation in the near future, part-time work is likely to become more and more common.
And if people are losing their benefits and taking significant pay cuts (in the form of lower-wage, part-time work) by the millions, it’s going to seriously hamper the entire economy. Who’s going to order knick-knacks from Amazon if nobody can afford it? It may be in the company’s best interest to try something like this out.
Of course, it could just be a way to help rebuild the company’s image after a damning New York Times article exposed the rather cutthroat work culture present on the company’s campus. That piece was widely read and put Amazon on its heels. In terms of attracting talent, it put the company at a disadvantage as it fights with other big companies for employees.
Just within a mile or two of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft also have a big presence. After reading about how some employees claim Amazon’s offices can be so difficult to work in, you can bet that convincing a promising job candidate to sign on with Amazon over one of the others would be a tough sell.
Either way, it’ll be very interesting to see what happens in the wake of Amazon’s new test program. If it works out and catches on, we may be on the verge of shorter workweeks for at least one sector of the economy.