The compelling case for working a lot less
Even on a global level, there is no clear correlation between a country’s productivity and average working hours. With a 38.6-hour work week, for example, the average US employee works 4.6 hours a week longer than a Norwegian. But by GDP, Norway’s workers contribute the equivalent of $78.70 per hour – compared to the US’s $69.60.
I wonder if the fact that Norway is a small, homogeneous relatively high-IQ, high-trust country with a $1-trillion sovereign petrol fund, has anything to do with that, whereas America, by comparison, is a heterogeneous, high-population, low-trust, variable-IQ country with a lot of people who contribute little if nothing to the economy.
Why do high-IQ companies such as Goldman Sachs and Google offer such generous employee benefits and give their employees so much leisure and creative freedom, whereas low-IQ jobs are much more restrictive and regimented and much less fun? The reason is not because high-IQ companies are more generous, but because high-IQ employees generate much more economic value than low-IQ ones, and also high-IQ companies, relative to firm size, have far fewer employees than low-IQ companies, so that means each employee gets more. Facebook and Google are server farms that figuratively print money…they don’t need too many people to oversee their digital printing presses.
Tech companies that have the best working conditions also have the highest revenue per employee:
But service sector companies, which tend to hire a lot of average and low-IQ employees, have a much lower revenue per employee (around $60,000) and much worse working conditions. Chipotle, for example, has tons of employee complaints and pending lawsuits.
Silicon Valley, if it were a country, would not only have a short workweek, but an astronomically high GDP per employee. Indeed, Silicon Valley as of 2014 has a GDP per capita of $77,000, the third highest of 300 metro areas surveyed. Norway, by comparison, has a GDP per capita of $71,000.