‘You arrive when it’s dark, you leave when it’s dark.’ People Muse On The Possibility Of The Four-Day Work Week
by Trisha Leigh
People are continuing to demand better and more empathetic employers and working conditions, which is great – and one idea that seem to have real traction is the four-day work week.
This is likely because there are as many upsides for the Man as there are for employees, but hey. Lots of people are saying they would take it.
These people have some thoughts on the matter, so let’s check them out.
Everyone said yay.
They talked about this in the 70s. Yay everyone said. My dad did it. He worked 4 12+ hr days and took off Friday.
Everyone else was like, if I work the 12 hrs the 4 days plus another 12, I can make even more money! Yay!
To combat depression.
Working a 5 day work week just makes life seem so much more pointless.
By the time I get the other things I need to do (grocery shopping, appointments, etc.) done, its Sunday night.
A 4 day work week might give me time to play the piano I bought to combat depression.
Missing the point.
I feel like people are missing the point, which is that we need to shorten the work week/amount of time spent at work.
When people say we should switch to 4 day work weeks, they don’t mean 4 tens or 4 twelves. We need to WORK LESS, meaning 4 day weeks that are still 8 hour days (or less, because most people could get the same amount of work done in 4 five or six hour days as they do spreading it out over 5 eights and procrastinating at work as much as they can).
With adding in commuting time, and any time outside of work spent thinking about work, answering texts or emails, etc., the average adult spends way too much time on work.
Do it all over again.
Honestly, the lack of time is why I’m consciously killing my sleep schedule. Kiddo’s down and everything by 9, stay up til midnight or later to make sure I spend time with my wife and also have some “me” time.
And if something else comes up, I just end up staying up later to feel like I didn’t waste my entire day at work/doing chores around the house just to turn around and do it all over again.
Hello, coffee, my old friend…
No other way to survive.
I’ll take the drop in salary. My biggest complain…probably in general, is that there is no way to take extra time off. I can only take 2.5 weeks a year and that is just stupid. Life becomes slaving away constantly without leaving the same 10 mile radius. That goes on for decades. Leads to extreme depression.
We only get one life and we make a sick joke out of it because there is no other way to survive. And then it degrades your morale even more until you are a helpless husk of a person who can’t find a way out.
The only real downside.
My employer gives us every other Friday off. We work 80 hours over 9 days (M-F, M-Th).
It’s really helpful to have those Fridays to schedule appointments, and I have less desire to burn PTO throughout the year just to take a much-needed Friday off (through the end of October, I had only used 2.5 PTO hours for the year, mostly for doctor’s visits).
The only real downside is that on the Fridays that we do work, nobody wants to do anything.
Gone too fast.
I would gladly work 4 ten hour days to have an extra day off. 2 day weekends are too short.
They’re gone just as soon as you start to feel comfortable
It helps out a ton.
My company switched to 4 10 hour days. We are diesel technicians and work 7-5:30. Half of us work Monday through Thursday and the other half work Tuesday through Friday. We have did this for over two years and we all love it. It is so nice to have a three day weekend every week. Another thing about it that is nice is if you doctors appointment or something I can make it on a Monday and don’t have to miss any work.
Plus I forgot to mention having a two month this helps out a ton. More time for me to be with my wife and daughter. And if there is a lot to do I can just come in on Monday and boom 10 hours of overtime.
I work 4 9 hour days and then half-day Fridays. The Fridays themselves are awesome because even though it’s a “half day”, with the proximity to the weekend and how many people take those days off they’re barely work days at all. Not stressful at all. This is awesome too because you can get a 3 day weekend by only taking a half-vacation day.
The biggest downside that people don’t realize is how much working a 9 hour (or 10 hour, usually I’m here from 8-6) day really sucks. You arrive when it’s dark, you leave when it’s dark, and by the time you get home it’s 6:30/7 and you can do 1 thing before needing to go to bed. Working out, cooking, cleaning, all become a lot harder when you’re home at that hour instead of home at 5/5:30 every day.
The half day Fridays themselves can be a lot of fun in summer when there are things to do, but you know what happens in winter? I go home at 12 and sleep for a couple hours to make up for sleep deprivation earlier in the week lol. It all evens out in the end.
It just makes sense.
I work in public works for a city in Minnesota and we’re trying to go from 5 8’s to 4 10’s during the summer.
People are fighting it because “But that’s two more hours a day I have to work! I won’t be getting off at 330 but rather 4:30 if we start at 6am (instead of 7) or 5:30 if we still start at 7!”
Yeah but you get that ENTIRE day off. 24 full hours to spend doing house/yard work. 24 full hours to spend with your family. 24 hours to do nothing compared to that measly 2 hours a day. You’d EASILY catch up on the stuff you’re missing out on by working 2 extra hours a day.
24 hours off is more than 10 hours off.
That adds up to WEEKS (4 days off a month for 5 months would be 20 days off….just short of 3 weeks) off during the summer instead of 4-5 days adding up that two hours a day.
Then you think about the money you’re saving by not driving…..I drive 60 miles a day. I get 20 to the gallon. That’s 3 gallons of gas per day. 15 gallons a week. Say a gallon of gas is about $3….that’s $45/week. Trim that to 12 gallons a week…$36. That’s $9 saved a week over 20 weeks….$180 saved over 5 months. That’s an extra $18 an hour on top of your regular $25/hour.
Then you’re saving PTO/Sick/Comp time by not using those days to get an extended weekend. That’s even MORE money saved and MORE time off.
It makes too much sense NOT to do it.
From their perspective.
And from employer’s perspective they probably already know you slack off some amount and assume you will still slack off just as much in addition to the 8 lost hours.
I still think a 32 hr week would be better
Reducing overall time.
I’m glad you’re happy, but this is the only bit I have a problem with: a 7am start, or let’s say 7pm finish, is not good for the vast majority of people.
It shouldn’t be about 10-hour days to get another day off. It should be about reducing the overall time people spend at work in order to improve wellbeing. 4 x 8 hour days is better than 4 x 10, obviously.
It’s a very fortunate outcome that productivity is shown to increase, because if it wasn’t for that we’d probably never get this done.
According to the evidence…
Think it makes sense. All the evidence suggests it works, and the welfare benefits would be enormous.
Edit: this took off a little more than I expected. Thanks for the cake day well wishes. Whilst I’m here, here is a couple of news stories about the research and articles about 4 day weeks.
I would probably hate Mondays less.
A total game changer.
My BF works 4 10s and it’s a total game changer. It’s adjusted his schedule so he wakes up at earlier hours on his days off, which gives him more day in his day, on top of already having an extra one.
I’m self-employed and I try to have all my work done by Friday’s, so we usually get 3 day weekends together, which also makes taking short trips easier without missing any work.
It also opens up a weekday for him to do certain things that have more limited hours on weekends like appointments and whatnot.
That much better.
Life would be that much better.
I would have somewhere around 50 extra days a year to do all the yard work and home projects that I don’t want to spend all weekend doing.
To compensate for the changes.
Given that we now have more people in the workforce and supposedly more “productivity” because of automation, we ought to be dropping down to 32 hour weeks to compensate for the changes in our household structures.
What I don’t get is why we work on hours instead of you know, the work being done. I apparently get paid to carry out certain responsibilities, not to just be physically present at a workplace, but if I finish all my work I don’t get to leave.
It incentives wasting just enough time that you look busy all day, otherwise they just hit you with even more work, effectively punishing you for being good at your job.
A slam dunk.
When you put it like that (~52 extra days per year), it becomes a slam dunk yes.
Unfortunately I am teacher, and it won’t switch for me unless the rest of society changes to it first. Only districts that do 4 days right now tend to be rural.
I’m not sure we’ll see this happen across the board.
But it could be pretty nice if we did.