We take the 40 hour work week for granted. "That's life," "that's being an adult," or "everyone's gotta work" are common justifications that we've internalized.
But what if there was another way?
What if there was a way that allowed us to continue to contribute to society, while maintaining a better work-life balance (i.e. a greater commitment to the life part)?
Some Redditors took a moment to imagine life and society if a four day work week was the norm. Their responses expressed deep dissatisfaction with the current labor situation and a utopic vision for a more joyful existence.
"I've worked 3x12hr or 4 x9.5hr week for the past 8 Years and I love it."
"It is shift work but I have done a full time job worth of work every week but I feel like I have much better work life balance."
The Ultimate Calculation
If a company does this and sees results, I'm all for it. I believe companies that treat their employees better get better returns on employee investment."
"This will never work on the lower level like a 24hr restaurant, but could in results oriented jobs."
Staunchly in Favor
"First of all, why the f*** are we still working a 40-hr work week to begin with? I'm a strong believer of a 30/32 hour work week AND 4 day work week."
"I barely get work done on Fridays and go more for the social experience. My mind is too excited for the weekend so I usually stop working a couple hours early."
"And everyone else is usually gone so it's hard to reach other departments if you need to."
A Massive Imbalance
"Worker productivity has increased approximately 600% more than wages in the past several decades. Hell yes, we should have a shorter work week." -- certaindoomawaits
"And real wages dropped significantly since the 70s." -- thatoldhorse
Making the Case
"It won't benefit your corporate masters, so it will never happen anyway." -- ApprehendEmptiness
"So companies actually saw a rise in productivity when they switched to a 4 day week" -- omani805
"Yeah but there's still those bosses that don't listen to reason and just want to micromanage everything" -- lmore3
"A few companies have already trialled this and it usually increases productivity of the workers significantly."
"There's a similar argument to be made for high school kids starting school later in the day and finishing earlier because their teenage brains are not geared to function well in the morning and are generally far more productive in the afternoons."
"Adult brains are obviously more developed but still generally lack the ability to keep focused for an entire work week. Monday lag and Friday lag decrease productivity, so why not work Tuesday to Friday or Monday to Thursday and get more done?"
Keeping Us Busy
"I think the way society works right now is fundamentally flawed. It's a great engine that produces profits for the top few individual human lives. 4 day work week? What, just shuffle 40 hours of expected labor about a little bit? Why 40 hours of labor a week? Why 4 days of work a week?"
"Busy work to keep people from finding trouble. 'Trouble' being everything from disrupting society by destruction to disrupting society by bringing about positive change which doesn't bow to the established."
A Case Study
"I've legit been in a depression for years since work changed shifts (among other things) from 4x10s to 5x8s."
"It's refreshing mentally to have three days to get sh!t done, and 4 days to do work. 2 hours more each day feels like nothing when you get an additional 10-15 minute break."
"Work Monday and Tuesday, off Wednesday, work Thursday and Friday, off Saturday and Sunday: perfect work week imo!" -- matty0618
"I decided to have Tuesdays and Fridays off so I never work more than three days in a row, am therefore not as tired, do therefor not need more than a day off and am super relaxed in general."
"I still work 9hr shifts / 45hrs a week but it really doesn't feel like it and that's awesome!" -- PerPuroCaso
Closing with Some Cynicism...
"Thanks to tech, humans are more productive as ever"
"However, most of this tech is private property."
"A 4 day workweek/shorter work day would benefit society immensely, so long as workers are fairly compensated for their productivity."
"Historically, this has barely happened and in some cases real wages have decreased while productivity has skyrocketed, meaning the owners of tech and tools get to pocket the change. They have no incentive to, their tech is their protected property, workers don't have a right to a cut."
"In reality, a 4 day workweek will be a 20% paycut for most non-union or non-cooperative businesses"
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