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Our culture cares less about profit than it does about keeping workers in line. Like, it cares more about HIERARCHY than anything else.
If it cared about profit, we'd have 4-hour workdays and get paid full-time salaries and have benefits.

(Average productivity in an 8-hour day is by most accounts, ~3.something hours a day, by a few, 2.something.)
You don't get more productivity by insisting someone stay at the office for 8 hours a day. (The 8-hour day, btw, is based on assembly-line work, at which you can be productive for longer, but that's not the sort of job most people do anymore.)
And by many accounts, keeping someone at the office for 8 hours actually means LESS productivity than letting them go home after 4.
But wait! I hear you saying. Okay, fine. But then why should I pay them a full-time salary?

Because it's 4 hours a day of productivity. NOT 4 hours per day per job.
If you don't pay them enough to live on and be content, they'll go out and find a second job.

And then you won't get even 4 hours of productivity.
If companies ACTUALLY cared most about maximizing productivity, they'd pay people a full-time living wage and benefits and let them go home after four hours, understanding that they're paying for 4 hours of productivity + not working elsewhere.
And if that sounds crazy to you, well, companies paying livable full-time salaries are already DOING that, except they're insisting people stay in the office 8 hours and thus actually getting *less* work out of them.
If companies actually cared most about productivity/making money, any time someone had so much as a sniffle, if the employee felt well enough to work, they'd demand that they work from home and videoconference in for meetings if necessary (if it's the sort of job that works for).
And if it's not the sort of job for which you can do anything from home, they'd just give them the day off without worrying about sick time.

In what world is it logical to have a sick person come in and get everyone else sick?
I talked to an HR person at Microsoft once after calling the nurse line worried that I had strep and having them *send a doctor to my home*. I was like THIS IS AMAZING I LOVE IT WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO DO IT?

Like, it was the first time I'd felt like a pampered tech worker.
And she gave me a very long explanation which involved many things I don't remember (part of it was basically: "we discovered it was cheaper just to buy our own doctors"), but part of it was "we don't want people going to urgent care."
And that was also for many reasons, but a big one was "people pick up even MORE germs when they go to urgent care: we'd rather have them stay home, send a doctor to them, and have them neither acquire nor spread germs."
Like, someone at work gets a cold, and then you can identify who was in the first wave, second wave, third wave of people who get it. You can pretty much predict how many people are going to be out each week.
If companies actually cared most about productivity, they'd be focused on incentivizing any employee who comes down with a cold or flu or strep or norovirus whatever to STAY HOME. You think paying for that is more expensive than WEEKS of lost productivity from multiple people?
Like, someone stays home, doesn't work, sleeps, hey, there's a chance they're over it in a day or two and you've lost a day or two of work.


They drag their suffering ass to work, push through it, aren't really that productive, stay sick longer, and get everyone sick.
Like, no, I don't want to work in a world ruled by greed, but honestly, companies ACTUALLY PRIORITIZING PRODUCTIVITY would result in more humane workplaces than what we've got.

Instead, I really believe, it's about enforcing hierarchies more than anything else.
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