Publisher rewards employees with longer weekends

By Yang Chiu-ying and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Sat, Feb 02, 2013 - Page 4

Several companies in recent months have tried to cut costs by forcing employees to take time off through furloughs, but one company is giving its staff more time off by instituting a three-day weekend because they are so efficient.

Employees of Eurasian Publishing Group were pleasantly surprised to learn on Thursday that the company will implement a three-day weekend, starting next month.

Chief executive Jian Chih-chung (簡志忠) said it has been his dream to give his employees three days off a week, adding that life should not be so hard, and long hours of work were harmful.

“Eight hours a day is sufficient for work. Sure, occasionally there needs to be overtime, but to do it on a daily basis? You’re not getting paid by each item that you complete, you know,” Jian told his employees.

It was this belief that prompted him 20 years ago to give his employees a two-day weekend at a time when most companies in the country had not gotten into the habit of letting employees take the weekend off, Jian said.

He later expanded the weekends to two-and-a-half days, by giving staff Friday afternoons off.

Jian said he raised the idea of a three-day weekend with his employees several years ago, but they told him that they would not able to finish their work and that it was a bad policy to leave authors and bookstores unable to contact them.

Jian said his only requirement for his employees was very simple — they needed to increase their efficiency.

“It would not only help the company, it would also give them more time to use for themselves,” Jian said, adding that a four-day work week was more than enough if employees knew how to arrange their time.

His latest decision was met with applause from employees, with some saying that they were moved to tears.