If you’ve had a chance to look at any of my social media pages you probably have gotten the hint (multiple times) that I don’t believe in the traditional ‘9-5’ working week. I believe that working humans to the point of exhaustion and forcing them to leave their residences for 8+ hours a day does not contribute to a healthy, developed, and well society. Let’s explore my reasoning..
Do you ever feel by Friday that your engine has run out completely? Do you find yourself scrolling through Facebook endlessly, reading the same content repeatedly just so you don’t have to look at another chart, database, or report? It is proven fact that people are more productive when they have had longer rest periods. After a long weekend, it is very difficult to go back to work but I always find that I am more alert, awake, and willing to learn on the day back than I am on a Friday. Employers are paying their employees for an extra day of work during the week, but most employees are actually less productive on that one day than they are all week. Wouldn’t it make more sense to cut a day of work, but still pay the same (or maybe even a little less), considering employees would produce much higher productivity during the week?
2. Overall Wellness
I don’t know about you, but I feel like absolute garbage when the weather isn’t nice, I’m in a bad mood, but I still have to drag myself out of bed and cart myself over to the office for a long 8 hour day. People need to be able to LIVE their lives. For example, an individual works 9-5 every day. She gets up at 6 to make breakfast, get her kids up and ready for school, get ready for her work day, and maybe catch up on 10 minutes of reading. She works for 8 hours, by the time she gets to her car and gets home after a 30 minute commute, its around 5:45. She has to make dinner, get the kids ready for bed, make lunches, do laundry, clean up, and still find time to shower. Then this process repeats itself over and over. Where is the time to actually take a second out of life and appreciate your surroundings? Where is the time to say you actually felt like you were living, and not just existing? People are happier, healthier and less stressed when they work one less day a week. This can reduce a slew of health problems, including obesity, heart attacks, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety; the list goes on.
The North American culture is ranked 11 out of 33 for how many hours we overwork each week. People are overworked, underpaid, and as a result suffer with chronic health issues ranging from physical to mental. Many European countries have long adapted the ideal of a 4 day work week, including the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden among many. It shouldn’t be shocking that these countries also have higher productivity rates.. has a lightbulb went off yet, North America? Have you not realized that you are actually LOSING money by working people overtime?
Lastly, our environmentally friendly associates know that when you have less vehicles on the roads, you are contributing to an overall healthier environment. I’m not sure what could be more common sense about that statement. When you reduce the work week to 4 days, sure people will want to drive around to get errands done, maybe visit some friends or relatives, etc.; but you will have an abundance of people who want to stay home and not move their vehicles at all. Driving to work takes two trips, and many people experience long commutes on a daily basis. Imagine what taking away just ONE working day would do for the environment?
Although I can’t see North America coming through for a while with reducing the 9-5, 40 hours a week workweek, my dream and my goal is to get myself to a point in my life where I don’t have to work long weeks, where I can work from home and raise my future family to my own standards, not what society has chosen for me.