Is working a four day week possible?
One thing that I really like to do while at work, is check my RSS news feeds and post anything which grabs my attention to my Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin pages, using something called Buffer to ensure that they are scheduled for throughout the day. This allows me to keep up to date with the education news stories as well as sharing these with my respective communities. Earlier this week the new timetable was revealed for tutors and after seeing my timetable the following story really caught my attention – working only a four day week!
What it is suggesting…
So what are they actually suggesting? Well, basically the working week is reduced from four days to five days. But wait, there is an important caveat accompanying this – the salary stays the same! This is not about reducing hours and becoming part time. It is about being employed full time, but only being expected to work four days.
At the same time, it is not suggesting, that we work four days out of the seven, but increase the number of hours we actually work on our working days to compensate for this. The working hours for those four days would remain the same. Wait! I’ve just heard several managers fall off their chairs and several more have just collapsed into uncontrollable fits of hysterics. Any manager who has not been effected with the previously mentioned maladies have definitely stopped reading.
But could this four day week actually work and would the long term benefits actually be worth the change.
Would I work a four day week?
It was also very interesting to see how members of the workforce had not decided to waste the extra day by lying in bed, although this might have been the case for some individuals who did not appear on the video! This got me thinking – if offered, would I actually work a four day week, or would I just work the five days but not at work?
Time is a very precious commodity and as humans, we naturally try to fill the time. How would I fill it? Well definitely to further my own learning! Not for work, although work might gain the benefits of this, but for things that I am interested in. I tend to use the site SkillShare a lot recently, mainly because I signed up for a free trial which then slipped into a yearly subscription before I actually managed to cancel it. I try to put one weekend aside per month which is labelled as my learning weekend. During this time I try to learn new skills or perfect my current skills. It would be excellent to know that I would have one day a week in order to do that, rather than squeezing it into a weekend.
What would you do with your extra day off work?
Add your ideas in the comments below..
Which day would be the perfect day? Well I can imagine that most people would go for a Friday or a Monday, but I wouldn’t actually mind which. It would even be nice to have Wednesday so that I had a two day week, followed by another two day week. I think no matter which day was allocated to me, I would probably still get up early and have a planned day so I wouldn’t waste it.
I like having these moments when I sit and type and reflect or think about what it would be like if things were different. This is often assigned to winning the lottery or becoming popular on YouTube. But it has been nice to think about a four day working week and the possibilities it could bring. I think, because I am getting older and my body is becoming more fragile, that the positive impact on my own health would be the most comforting dream of a four day week. Knowing that your pay was not going down, but the amount of work you had to do and the time which you had to do it in was reducing would definitely have a motivational impact. However, it is definitely a perchance to dream moment since I can’t see if happening any time soon. In fact, as people are reading this, I am sure that many managers or people in charge of the money have already written down or thought of several reasons why a four day week would not work.
For me, however, I am quite jealous that I am not working within the PR firm mentioned in the video. Not because I really want to work a four day week, but because I am jealous of working for a boss who is not only innovative and is prepared to take a risk. And maybe, really values his workforce.
I have actually re-written this blog post several times because I didn’t want it to come across as a rant about working. I have tried to be reflective and express what I think about the proposal but at the same time, tried to remove any aspects of my own emotional self.
I think most people would be in favour of a four day week with the same amount of pay, so I am not going to pose that as a question. Instead, add in the comments below, what you would do with your additional day off if you were only required to work a four day week.