Posted by: Jack | September 5, 2008

Four Day Work Week

My employer has asked me to gather my opinions regarding a move to a four day work week. Apparently too lazy to actually think my own thoughts, I began by looking up some articles on the subject. Since the majority of workers aren’t in charge of their own hours, the most considered implications appear to be those which affect whole communities/businesses/industries rather than each individual worker, i.e: productivity, utility bills, etc. The one reoccurring consideration that is centered on the individual is the reduced costs/risks that come with a 20% reduction in driving. But again, I’m in the minority as I’ve never driven to work and don’t foresee a need to do so in the future.

So what’s in it for me (for worse or better). Cons and pros:

Con: Ten hours is a long time to work.

Pro: Three day weekend. Sleeping about seven hours each night, that would mean 63 hours of waking time uninterrupted by work.

Con: None of my acquaintances have three day weekends.

Pro: I’ve always felt the five:two ratio is no way to live life.

Con: I don’t go ten hours without eating at least twice. I would need to start packing lunch and second-lunch (formerly after-school-snack).

Pro: Certain things are hard to get done on a weekend when public offices and a number of other businesses are closed. I’ve also come to abhor malls and other large shopping destinations due to a slight case of enochlophobia/ephebiphobia and yet there are occasions for which I need to buy things. Doing so on a Friday morning might be more tolerable.

Con: The longer day is likely to leave me less motivated/energized for evening activities.

Pro: Perceived time at work correlates directly with productivity (for me at least). Given the choice between ten agonizingly long hours and ten high-paced hours, I may find myself more motivated.

Con: There will still be those ten agonizingly long hours on occasion.

Pro: I could nearly pay a month’s rent with one day’s work (not a valid argument but kind of neat).

Pro: If I acquire a house in the near future, Fridays would offer a good opportunity to perform inevitable maintenance/enhancement tasks without cutting into the more socially inclined portion of the weekend.

Pro: Get to try something new.

Looks like I’m siding with the pros. If you can think of any implications I’m overlooking or have experience with the four day work week, please comment.

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Responses

  1. Jack, after his accident in 2006 my husband went straight back to work, but developed increasing problems until in January this year he had to take a few months off work. He returned to work in June (after working hard to get his back okay), but only three days a week. There are huge benefits to this. Recently he managed three long weekends – when I went to Switzerland; he went to Isle of Man with the kids the following weekend; then he went to climb the Old Man of Hoy the weekend after. He only took off one day to manage all of that. All the pros you mentioned above are certainly true. He doesn’t work longer hours, though, so I can’t comment on that. I’d go for it if I were you.


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