I have a theory that if the working world worked less hours we would actually be more productive and healthier. I’ve always wondered how the 5 day working week came about and who ever thought it would be a good idea. How have we all naturally accepted and migrated to this notion.
Imagine if everyone worked a 4 day week or even 3.5 day week. We would have more time for ourselves and our families. Enjoying and having more time for our personal life would make us resent our working life less.
I have previously worked compressed hours. Full time hours in a 4 day week. I always made a point to leave on time and I always took my full hour lunch. I was actually more productive in these 4 days than I was in 5 and I believe that if my hours were less I would be even more productive.
How many of us procrastinate on a daily basis? When you have a goal to focus on, a deadline each day to leave on time and go home, and your reward is just that ‘going home’ we can be so much more productive. If we go into work of the mind that ‘today is going to be a long day’ then it will be, you won’t send that email now because well you’re here all night and you have plenty of time!
Of course there are those of us that really are overworked. A very close friend of mine works extremely long hours and works incredibly hard with very little procrastination. I see the effect this has on her and the stress it causes not only mentally but physically too. How did she get to this point? And yet others of the same level and role of her, often paid more, are working less. It’s that old saying ‘victim of your own success’. We need to learn to put our work down and come back to it and if that means deadlines are missed then there is a problem with the process and organisation and not the person.
Sweden have recently wised up to this and reduced weekly working hours to increase productivity and well being.
Imagine if we all only worked 3 days. There would be more jobs available for others. Yes we would be paid less but everyone would be so the cost of living would go down. Everyone would be much healthier and would cost the health service less and the world would be a much happier place generally.
People would have more time to learn and develop them selves. Time to give back and volunteer. Time to see their children.
I know my plan will be full of holes but it’s a nice thought isn’t it?
How did we get where we are and where are we going?
In a few weeks I move to a 4 day week and I can’t wait.