A redistribution of working time is one of those ideas that circles endlessly around, much talked about and only rarely applied. There’s a real history to the idea of reduced working hours as a form of progress, something that’s been fought for in the past, and then more or less abandoned with the advent of the 9-5 with a two day weekend.
As Katherine Trebeck and I argue in our book The Economics of Arrival, reduced working hours are exactly the kind of progress that advanced economies should pursue. It has multiple benefits, would make a real difference to people’s quality of life, and it can be acheived with or without more economic growth.
I’ll say more about this next week, but today I wanted to post this video from 4dayweek.co.uk. It’s a coalition-run campaign that is currently capitalising on renewed interest in work time as a result of Covid-19. A number of companies have been more or less forced into reduced working arrangements, and there will be a lot more case studies to highlight at the end of the pandemic than there were before. The breakthrough for the 4 day week may not be far away.