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  • 1.  I'm all for working less - you?

    Posted 04-08-2022 11:14

    I came across this article today (How working less could solve all our problems. Really.) and had two big emotions back to back after reading the title (oh heck yeah!), then the byline: "Shorter workweeks could help reduce accidents, combat climate change, make the genders more equal, and more, contends historian and author Rutger Bregman" (really, though? ::side eye::). 

    Seems like a lot to put on shorter workweeks to solve, right?... but! when you take a look at these three arguments: 

    • working less reduces stress and increases general life satisfaction

    • commuting less* reduces CO2 impact 

    • fewer errors/accidents because we'll be less exhausted

    *this article is from 2017, so there's no way it could have predicted the impact of the pandemic on commuting. 

    ... it does seem plausible. 

    The article also mentions some other positives (reducing gender and wealth inequality, and reducing unemployment) but I think those might be more of a stretch. 

    I am all for a shorter work week, to be honest. In my mind that means fewer meetings and more time to focus on getting things done. I think about how I work when I'm up against a tight deadline, for instance, versus how I work when I have a more flexible timeline. I am always more focused when I'm trying to get it all done. 

    What do y'all think? Is a shorter work week something you'd like? Something that'd be nice, but not necessary? Or something you wouldn't like at all?

    Stay awesome,

  • 2.  RE: I'm all for working less - you?

    Posted 04-08-2022 11:23
    Four-day work week...hell yes! Whenever we have a three-day weekend (or I make one for myself), I always think, "I could use a three-day weekend every week!" 

    There's a lot of talk recently about four-day work weeks, and California just might make it happen for all companies over 500 employees. In this job market, offering that benefit could be a great way for employers to attract in-demand employees.

    Bring it on!

    Maria Liccardo

  • 3.  RE: I'm all for working less - you?

    Posted 04-12-2022 12:55
    If working four days a week means the four days would be 10 hour workdays, then, no thanks! That's way too much work packed into one day for me. I'll stick with 40 hours (37.5?) spread over 5 days! 

    Now, I do like the idea proposed to me yesterday by fellow Connector @Amanda Gose. She suggested making Fridays a "no meetings day" so that we could get some solid time to focus. That might not make ALL of Rutger Bregman's dreams come true, but I'm sure it would reduce a lot of stress for a lot of people I know. ;) ​

    Maria Mooshil

  • 4.  RE: I'm all for working less - you?

    Posted 04-12-2022 14:45
    Edited by Amanda Gose 04-12-2022 15:43

    OMG - Very timely here, @Maria Mooshil and @Quinn Drew :)

    I'm all for shorter work weeks, and I think there are tons of benefits to that - as long as there's uninterrupted time to get work done hence, my fascination meeting free work days! I spend so much time in meetings that I never get the time I need to be proactive and put thought into necessary strategies and work to really move things forward. 

    In fact, after our discussion Maria, I found this article that takes things a step further, stating:

    When meetings were reduced by 40% (the equivalent of two days per week), we found productivity to be 71% higher because employees felt more empowered and autonomous. Rather than being pinned down by a schedule, they owned their to-do lists and held themselves accountable, consequently increasing satisfaction by 52%.


    While it may seem counterintuitive, the researchers concluded that having too many meetings detracts from effective collaboration, derails workers during their most productive hours, and interrupts people's train of thought. Consequently, removing 60% of meetings - the equivalent of three days per week - increased cooperation by 55%. Workers replaced meetings with better ways of connecting one-on-one, at a pace suitable for them, often using project management tools to aid communication. In doing so, the risk of stress decreased by 57%, which improved employees' psychological, physical, and mental well-being.

    All in all, shorter workweeks and meeting free days allow us to work smarter and be happier and who wouldn't want that?!



    Amanda Gose

  • 5.  RE: I'm all for working less - you?

    Posted 06-09-2022 10:21
    I came across this news story and thought of you, @Amanda Gose @Maria Mooshil @Quinn Drew. Four-day work week is being tested on a large scale in the UK:

    It's the same compensation for 32 hours of work instead of 40.

    Do you think it will work? Would you be more productive? How would your quality of life improve?



  • 6.  RE: I'm all for working less - you?

    Posted 06-09-2022 10:33
    Well, that sounds GREAT, @Brianne Haxton! At my previous job, we went to a four-day workweek for the summer (and lost the day of pay) because of the pandemic. I really loved having that 3-day weekend through the summer of 2020, though losing a day of pay each week certainly hurt. To have a four-day workweek AND be paid the same as a five-day workweek? Fabulous! I wonder though whether the same amount of work would actually get done. You'd probably have to nix some of the meetings that overwhelm so many of my colleagues. But, hey, I'm willing to give it a try. ;)  ​

    Maria Mooshil

  • 7.  RE: I'm all for working less - you?

    Posted 06-09-2022 10:53
    @Maria Mooshil Looking back through this thread, I see plenty of plausible reasons that we COULD be just as effective in 32 hours. Let's hope this study is a smashing success and it is rolled out more widely!


  • 8.  RE: I'm all for working less - you?

    Posted 06-09-2022 11:38
    Edited by Arnie Grahl 06-09-2022 11:38
    I agree with a lot of the previous thoughts. Four day work week, and less meetings.
    I often find that I am more productive during the four-day weeks either leading up to a long weekend, or after a three-day holiday weekend. I have on many occasions reflected after a three-day holiday weekend how much I would love it to be the norm rather than the exception. I think there is something about the longer stretch that lets you unwind a bit more, and get refreshed for another go at it. Two days, especially given our busy lives and all the chores and errands we jam into it, just doesn't seem like enough. Before you know it, it's the work week again.
    I think this is why summer hours are so popular. People can try and be more productive in four days, and then have a short day at the end.
    Excessive meetings are without a doubt productivity killers. 
    So even if the four-day week doesn't fly, the meeting free Fridays would be a lovely idea.

    Arnie Grahl

  • 9.  RE: I'm all for working less - you?

    Posted 06-10-2022 09:48
    I can't wait to see the outcome of the pilot you shared, Brianne. I think it will work because it will require being strategically stingy with your time while focusing on the efforts that will drive forward the most action. It will certainly provide more work-life balance.

    32-hour work week here we come...I hope!

    Amanda Gose