Monday to Friday: 9.00 to 5.00. The standard working week for many in the modernised world, where if you’re not in the rat-race putting in 5 or more days a week of work, you’re probably one of the few.
But, maybe it’s time to buck the trend towards ‘living to work’ and moving back to something more like ‘working to live’. Are we really as productive as we might have ourselves believe: at the coal-face for the best part of our weekly lives? Are we healthier, wealthier citizens because of this drive to just keep working, longer and longer hours‚ because our employers think it’s best for the success of the company. What if it’s not, or even worse, perhaps to the detriment of the company’s success and employee’s health and well-being?
Why is it we’ve fallen into this pattern of working 5 days in a row and only having 48 hours to enjoy for ourselves and spend quality time with our family and friends? Was it all Henry Ford’s fault!?
Imagine, having three days off in a row, every week:
- How refreshed you would feel;
- How much more productive you’d be when you come back to work;
- How healthier and happier you’d be;
- The benefits to society as parents have more time to spend with their children as they grow;
- The reduction in traffic, pollution, and stress.
I wonder if there are any studies into the impact of working 5 or more days; and equally, any into the impact of working less; both for individuals, businesses and the general good of society?
*Updated* Just discovered a report by the New Economics Foundation, the UK’s leading independent think tank, who suggest a shift to a 21 hour working week could be likely and beneficial in a study published on 13th February 2010.
You can find out more and read the nef report here