Amazon to test 30-hour work week with some employee teams

Amazon.com is testing a new formula for techie employment, setting up teams entirely of part-timers averaging 30 hours a week.

According to the company, it created the initiative because the traditional 40-hour week ''may not be a 'one size fit all' model.''

The teams comprising IT specialists in the  human-resources department, would work from Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 2 pm, with the remaining 14 hours distributed as flex work throughout the week.

Amazon already employed part-timers in highly specialised jobs, but what was new was that entire teams were organised around the same core part-time schedule.

According to commentators, the experiment was another of several alternatives to the 9-to-5 tradition. ''An average workweek of 40 hours nowadays looks old-fashioned and backward,'' Anna Coote, head of social policy at the New Economics Foundation, wrote in the opinion section of The New York Times.

In a number of European countries, such as the Netherlands, a large percentage of adults are engaged in part time work.

These employees at Amazon, where the corporate culture had been publicly criticised as workaholic, would agree to 25 per cent reduction in salary commensurate with their reduced 30-hour workweek schedule, according to The Washington Post, owned by Amazon chief Jeff Bezos. They would continue to receive full benefits at the company like their full-time peers.

Amazon said in a statement, ''We want to create a work environment that is tailored to a reduced schedule and still fosters success and career growth."

''This initiative was created with Amazon's diverse workforce in mind and the realization that the traditional full-time schedule may not be a 'one size fits all' model," the statement continued.