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The Three- or Four-Day Workweek: Bogus or Beneficial?

The Three- or Four-Day Workweek: Bogus or Beneficial?

Trying to find that perfect work-life balance is notoriously difficult and sometimes, it feels as though we’re working so many hours that we don’t get to enjoy the money we’ve earned. We miss out on family occasions or are simply too tired to enjoy them, and with the explosion of mobile technology, it seems that work can creep into every corner of our lives. It’s becoming increasingly unavoidable, but could there be a better way? Perhaps there is. Many are claiming that the three- or four-day workweek is the perfect solution to our work-life balance issues, and many scientists and business executives suggest it’s both beneficial for our health and great for business.

When around 80% of people believe that it’s acceptable to telephone an employee outside of work hours, and when it seems that modern technological advances have led to an increase rather than a decrease in hours, things are getting out of hand. Many suggest then, condensing the workweek so that the same number of hours are worked but over fewer days – four days of ten working hours rather than five days of eight, for example. This idea is not new either. John Maynard Keynes famously (and perhaps incorrectly) predicted the progression of technology would lead to more leisure and less work time, suggesting that by the year 2030, we’d all be working a 15-hour week[1]. Herman Kahn believed something similar in the 1960s, claiming that all Americans would soon be enjoying a massive 13-weeks’ annual vacation and a four-day workweek[2]. Nowadays, the campaign for reducing the weekly work days, whether to three or four days, is gaining in popularity from all walks of life, from employers and employees, to health practitioners, scientists, and business moguls. So why aren’t we doing it yet?

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