business lifestyle uncategorized

The campaign for a four day week

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.

3 comments

  1. How will this fare with those who established an education system designed to raise an army of assembly-line workers? (I’ll answer my own question–not good, of course.)

    But seriously, this was a bit of a shock to me when I moved to the West. Many years ago, back in the developing world, I was able to work on flexi-time, even from home–only to find out I couldn’t negotiate for something similar here.

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