Free Daily Reads 2022: Article 164

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Article Title: Hard at work, or hardly?


Article Summary

The article at hand is a think-piece on the 996 workweek endorsed by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, mostly clarifying why the author thinks 996 is a counterproductive concept. 996 is, in reality, the practice of working 12 hours a day(from 9 AM to 9 PM), 6 days a week. Ma, and heads of other tech companies, rigorously endorse and even enforce this, and employees mostly submit to save their jobs. The author notes that this is strange given hours alone cannot make a company stand, without innovation, and concludes that employers increase hours required in a bid to be able to measure and increase productivity. Raging competition may also be driving these employers, in the tech industry where you need to be very meticulous to stay at the top. However, the author discovers and shares research from scientists that claim productivity falls north of 50 working hours per week, and hovers to an ideal around 40, below which it reduces. This finding has been proven true by real life corporations, notably Ford, the car makers. The author says Ma should take a leaf out of Gerald Ford’s book and implement lesser hours in his company as well, increasing employee satisfaction, and monetary returns via increased productivity himself.

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Words to learn from this Article:

Ominously: as if predicting, or being a harbinger of, danger and evil.

Notorious: infamous, having bad reputation.

Arduous: very physically or mentally taxing.

Brawn: physical strength, as opposed to intellectual force.

Erroneously: mistakenly.


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