Tirana, Albania (Accredited Times) – Around this time of year, many of us pack up our faux suede bags and go on a well-deserved vacation. I myself am on Day One of a fact-finding trip in Albania, where I plan to study Soviet-era architecture. Here’s a little beauty I found this morning whilst out looking for a vegan café:
One of the many benefits of being a journalist with the Accredited Times is the generous holiday allowance. We get 180 days per year plus sick leave (a further 30 days – often needed due to being frequently triggered). This time-off allows me to hitch-hike across the world at my leisure and learn about cultures which are better than our own by virtue of being different and therefore ‘cool’. Also, since I don’t drive and am forced to hitch-hike, I can moan hypocritically about how environmentally-unfriendly cars are whilst personally benefiting from others’ generosity when they stop to pick me up.
Ok, so I am still waiting for my first Accredited Times pay check but the banks have been pretty good about extending my credit limit when I’ve needed to. Individually, the amount owed on each of my twenty credit cards is perfectly manageable. Here’s a great tip I learned: withdraw a small amount from one card and use it to pay the interest-only portion of the amount owed on all the other cards. Since by definition debt is wealth, I should probably feel quite prosperous given that I now owe a total of $124,545.32 plus a car loan.
My debt situation aside, I feel quite blessed when I weigh up my employment benefits against those of the average American worker. Compared to their counterparts in most European countries, American employees get a raw deal. Whilst an American might get say ten days of holiday a year, the French typically have up to two months off. In addition, French labour law restricts the working week to 35 hours. Finally, France recently introduced a new law giving employees a legal right not to have to check work emails when they get home in the early afternoon or at weekends either.
There are other employment benefits which Americans do not receive either. In progressive Sweden, for example, parents are entitled to 480 days of leave on the birth of a child. These 480 days are to be shared between each of/all of the parents. So, if the mother takes 200 of these days off, the other mother(s)/father(s) get(s) the other 280 days.
In Current Year, it seems quite unjust that Americans are trapped in workplace slavery like battery hens. If the French, Swedes etc. can enjoy la dolce vita, why shouldn’t we? This is not simply a question of fairness; it is also about ensuring that America attracts and retains the brightest of today’s talent. In short, a workplace revolution is urgently needed.
A team of Accredited Times staff telephone-interviewed 300 millennials in order to gain their insights into the workplace changes they would like to see implemented. Using a simple question and answer format whereby multiple responses were permitted, our study showed:
- 25% of respondents agreed with the statement ‘a lack of experience or qualifications should not be a barrier to becoming CEO of a major corporation within five years of graduation’
- 82% of respondents agreed with the proposition that ‘I personally feel no loyalty whatsoever to my current employer’
- Only 10% of respondents expect to still be in their present job in six months time.
- The highest score positive response was in relation to the question ‘all employees should be entitled to paid career breaks on a regular basis’. 99% of our survey agreed.
We find the last response most compelling. If Current Year employers wish to attract and retain the brightest of talents, they simply must raise their game by restructuring their workforce to allow regular paid career breaks. Workers get the chance to explore the world, expand their horizons, learn new languages, engage in social justice efforts. Whilst there may be some incremental costs to the employer of doing this, think of it simply as a fair redistribution of wealth from greedy shareholders to the working class. Here’s the outline of our proposal:
- All employees get to work one year on, one year off at full pay
- It follows that, for every existing employee, an additional employee will be required. This will solve the unemployment problem overnight!
- In the event that there are insufficient home-grown employees, immigrants/ refugees can be brought into the country to fill the gaps
- We introduce European style holidays and generous parental leave along Swedish lines
We believe that the increase in happiness and employee satisfaction these measures will bring will boost productivity to such an extent that this will offset any additional cost in any case.