A 4-day workweek. Forever. Sound good?
Of course it does. It sounds amaaazing. But is it so amazing that it’s too good to be true? Let’s hope not….because it turns out it would probably be good for our health.
And the economy.
And our relationships.
And even the environment.
Ok, I’ll stop. But you get the point – it would be good for us!
But seriously, here are the actual, supported, peer-reviewed, expert-recommended reasons for switching to a 4-day workweek.
The office is taking years off your life.
At best it’s causing weight gain and a flat butt. At worst, you’re at an increased risk of heart attack and a shortened life span. And that’s not considering everything in the middle – a higher likelihood of anxiety and depression, increased exposure to germs, eye strain, backache, and asthma.
An extra day out of the office means an extra day away from all of that – more time to exercise and recuperate.
You’re never going to really retire.
There once was a time where you worked hard for a company. They loved you and took care of you. When you reached the ripe old age of 65 they threw you a party and gave you a sizable pension so you could go on living the rest of your life as you deserved.
I don’t need to tell you that times are different. Some of you reading this may be saying to yourself, ‘what is a pension?’ The reality is that more than half of us aren’t going to have enough saved to retire by the time we reach 65. And that’s fine because we’re probably going to live to be 95. But that means that we’re going to keep working for a long, long time. So there’s no point to work our butts off and burn out before we can afford to. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Working 4 days a week may make it easier to work well into our 70’s (since we might have to do that anyways).
Company loyalty and quality of work would increase.
Would you want to work for a company that recognized a 4-day workweek? Yep, me too.
Most companies can’t afford to offer benefits like pension plans that kept their employees engaged and motivated. So they need to come up with other compelling reasons for employees to stay – i.e. a 4-day workweek.
Luckily, there are a growing number of companies, like education firm Treehouse or video company Beholder, that are headed in that direction. A number of countries are also toying with how to support shortened workweeks. Germany has gone as far as banning work over 48 hours a week – quite a concept.
You’ll be out and about spending.
The more time we have off, the more time we have to get out in the community and do (or buy) the things we love. Just like finding a 25th hour in the day would be a shot in the arm to our productivity, finding an extra day for the weekend would be a shot in the arm for the economy.
You get more time with friends and family.
Not many things are as good for your mental health and wellbeing than having more time to spend with your family and friends. And if you’re like most working adults, just about every penny you make goes to supporting that family, so why not have a little more time to spend with them?
For many people, a 4 day workweek is still a pipe dream, but we are luckily moving in the right direction. More and more people are taking control of their own destiny (whether by choice or out of necessity) and starting their own businesses, which will ultimately give them the choice to work or not. We may never see the majority of companies practicing an official 4 day workweek, but hopefully our children will.