Society if We Had a Shorter Workweek: My Crops Are Flourishing, My Skin Is Clear


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Future of Work

The tantalizing dream of a four-day workweek could be “finally within our grasp,” according to the New York Times.

In Iceland, if you’ll recall, the majority of the workforce has either moved or or gained the right to move to shorter working hours — large-scale trials showed that workers were less stressed and sometimes even increased their productivity after cutting their hours but keeping the same pay. Elsewhere, individual companies like Kickstarter and Shake Shack have experimented or plan to experiment with four-day workweeks, the Times reports.

There are reportedly HUGE BENEFITS to this model of working, as I’m confident my enlightened bosses will come to understand:

  • Employees feel more recharged when they return to work
  • Better sense of morale and team spirit
  • Lower attrition rates
  • Greater work-life balance
  • Less burnout
  • Easier for working parents and caregivers to juggle other responsibilities
  • Fewer commutes means reduced environmental impact

(There were some potential downsides mentioned in the Times piece, too, but they are so insignificant compared to all of the MAJOR BOONS enabled by a shorter workweek that they’re not even worth mentioning here.)

Now you — my and other managers — may be wondering: How do we get in on this exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of virtuous progress? Well, I’ve thought about this a lot (not while I’m on the clock, of course), and here is what I think needs to happen:

  1. Reduce the workweek to a true four days (or 32 hours) a week, no “we’ll just add two hours to each day” bullshit.
  2. Pay remains the same, or is even increased, since wages haven’t kept up with inflation for decades.
  3. Btw, everyone is unionized.
  4. The reduced workweek has to extend to all professions, not just the white-collar office workers.
  5. “But how will we ensure our essential businesses are kept running because presumably we will want to go out and do things like take the subway and go shopping and dine out on our extra days off?” you may ask. Well, that’s easy: Hire more workers on staggered shifts to make up for the time that others won’t be working.
  6. “B-But what about ‘profits’?” Just print more money…
  7. Oh and also, while we’re at it, healthcare gets socialized.

So there you have it, a comprehensive plan to being the best boss ever. Slack me if you have any questions, but hopefully not on Fridays ever again.