My 2 Minute Guide to the 4 Day Work Week
A think tank called Autonomy recently released a study arguing that there are many, many reasons that the U.K. would be better off if they shifted from a standard 5 day work week to a 4 day work week. The study is pretty heady stuff and comes in the form of a PDF file that takes, like, 10 minutes to download. If you don’t feel like reading that kind of slog, here’s a brief rundown their reasons we should work 4 instead of 5 days a week.
Better for the environment
It’s better for the well-being of the workers
It would actually make (most) businesses more productive in the long-term.
Now, the study was written with the UK in mind but I’ve been saying for many years that a 4 day work week is long overdue. Here is my briefer and much more entertaining argument for the Monday-Thursday standard workweek.
1.) 3 Day Weekends are Great
Every time we get a 3 day weekend I’m reminded how awesome it would be if we could do it every week. I defy anyone to argue that 3 day weekends DON’T rock the f***ing Casbah. And, for you CEO’s out there, I’m not asking you to argue that it’s better for YOU if your employees work Monday thru Friday. I’m asking you to argue that YOU don’t absolutely freaking love three day weekends for yourself. You can’t. So, why don’t we just make that EVERY week?? And then you know what would happen when Memorial Day or Labor Day rolls around? That’s right. 4 DAY FLIPPIN’ WEEKEND!! Whoo!
2.) I Don’t Think Productivity Would Go Down
I hate to break it to you employers, but your employees spend about 40% of their time at work NOT WORKING. They might be talking at the watercooler or daydreaming but more likely they’re watching YouTube or on Facebook. You can blame it on the internet but I think the average human psyche has a toleration for work that tops out somewhere around 32 hours a week. We might be AT work but we’re not really WORKING. I notice that after a nice 3 day weekend, I’m much less likely to spend 3 hours of my day catching up on Netflix and much MORE likely to get down to the nitty gritty of doing my damn job! I think a solid 32 hours of actual work would prove more productive that the 40 hours minus 20 hours of playing Bejeweled Blitz that we’re giving you now.
Anyway, there’s only one way to find out.
3.) I Was PROMISED This
When I was in fourth grade my teacher told us that when we were adults we’d have computers doing a lot of our work and that we would have a whole lot more free time. Well, my teacher was 50% right. She got the computer part right but she was WAY THE F OFF on the “free time” part. How can computers be doing so much of our work but WE’RE working MORE hours?? It’s not right. I was promised a George Jetson-style adult life: putting in a few hours at Spacely Sprockets and then returning home to my beautiful wife and devoted robot maid/sex slave. What happened to THAT America, huh, Mrs. Crutchmer??
Also, flying cars. We were promised flying cars.