Sunday, April 29, 2007

Four Day Work Week

For years now, I have complaining about the 5 day/40 hour work week. Everyone enjoys the occasional three day weekend, so why not make every week a 4 day/40 hour work week?
It makes no sense to me that there are 7 days in a week and 5 of them are work days. Only 2 days for ourselves? Doesn't seem fair to me (yeah, yeah - life's not fair, blah, blah, blah). See Jennifer's post - why should we be working more when computers, email, internet, etc. have made our work tasks easier? I agree that a typical work day should include a paid lunch. And a typical work week should be one day shorter.
Last week, the Today Show had this piece: Commuter Tax As Solution To Global Warming. (I can't seem to find this on MSNBC or in any way, shape, or form at the Today Show's website.) Anyhow, if Bloomberg, McCain, and Redford want to cut down on greenhouse gasses -hello!- a 4 day work week would accomplish this. Less days commuting to work equals less pollution as well as less fuel consumption. Not only would a shorter work week benefit us working folks, it would also benefit the environment. That's a (wink) win-win situation.
Do we need to convince anyone else? Your global warming nay saying employer, perhaps? Well, in a way that might suck for us worker bees, the 4 day work week would actually increase productivity for employers and this is why: Monday holidays. Based on a Tuesday through Friday 4 day/40 hour work week (this is actually my preference - I don't mind working on Fridays but do not particularly enjoy working on Mondays) employers would eliminate, depending on your holiday schedule, up to 5 paid holidays a year.

Why hasn't the 4 day work week been implemented nationwide already!? Is the stock market the reason? Would a shorter week have a disastrous affect on the stock market?
Does anyone have a contact at the Department of Labor? I mean, those folks should be in on this. The probably haven't had much to do since the early 1900's when they shortened the work week from 7 to 5 days (thank gawd) and abolished child labor, right? We need them to act on this before we (read: I) near retirement, which is -like- only 30 years away!


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mainelife said...

Great link to the NBC piece. I don't have a link for the Labor Department, but I'm sure you can find it on the .gov site.
Also, maybe we should start with the NH and Maine State Legislature--build a grassroots effort around this. Speaking as an Upper Management Type, big business (and therefore Republican candidates) will HATE this idea, I'd think.
I work from home and I would like to push more of our employees to telecommuting to cut down on greenhouse emmissions. So far, the company has shown no interest in that idea, but I'm going to keep working on it.