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Four Day Work Week

As the economic situation worsens and spreads across the real estate industry, layoffs are reaching historic levels and there is a fear that more is to come in the Q1 of ’09. However this economic downturn has a twist that is worth noting. In this Sunday’s New York Times a front page article reported that an increasing number of companies are avoiding or limiting layoffs by instituting four day work weeks, effectively reducing payroll by 20%. Unpaid vacations, wage freezes, and flexible work schedules are also employed to avoid layoffs in order to keep teams in place. This approach is happening within companies that want to avoid re-building their organization should the economy suddenly roar back. This is a smart strategy that also builds loyalty among employees. Cutbacks are certainly necessary in these difficult times, but if you can reduce payroll costs and keep an organization reasonably intact it’s a win-win for everyone.

Tony LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.
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