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Work Less, Earn More: Is A Four-Day Week The Solution?

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https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/london-life/four-day-week-in-uk-a3964036.html

"Advocates argue that the five-day nine-to-five is a product of the industrial revolution — and surely we’ve evolved since then? 

Advocates of four day weeks argue that the five-day nine-to-five is a product of the industrial revolution — and surely we’ve evolved since then? Some companies are completely redrawing the week. Bold thinkers suggest six days on, three days off and some have even mooted a three-day week"

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Surely one week on one week off......one weeks holiday gives three full weeks break.

Work one week at work or working for monetary reward, being socially productive, learning new skills, meeting and working with others, sharing best practices etc......one week working and investing in what is at home.

Job sharing, brilliant for the employment figures...new blood, new ideas.....great opportunity for people if they choose to work two jobs if have no work to do at home.....;)

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I did a 4 day week a few years ago and it was fantastic.... its amazing how much more personal you can get done with that extra day.

But, that was because everyone else was at work for 1 of those days..... 

I am thinking of going to a 4 day week at my current job, so that i can explore a possible new venture for myself. 

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I now work four days a week, 5 hours a day, mainly because that is the level of demand for what I'm doing.

In 5 hours I get at least as much done as I did when I worked 7 or 8.

It's been my feeling for years that our owners and rulers, having got their hands on all the money, still actually like seeing everybody running about all week, often pointlessly. The government certainly prefers it, petrol, lunches all adding to their beloved and bogus GDP.

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We are competing with each other over deliberately scare housing and as such the idea we will be able to work three days weeks is pie in the sky.  More likely in future in order to win the competitive bidding for housing we will be required to work six day weeks unless we change direction.  All engineered to extract the fruits of production from the productive.

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3 hours ago, Social Justice League said:

Advocates of four day weeks argue that the five-day nine-to-five is a product of the industrial revolution — and surely we’ve evolved since then? Some companies are completely redrawing the week. Bold thinkers suggest six days on, three days off and some have even mooted a three-day week"

When my Dad went to work in 1949 the standard working week was  50 - 55 hours , he worked in insurance  and Saturday mornings were a Standard part of the working week for most. Holiday entitlement was two weeks paid and there was very little if any sick pay. 

When I left school in 1979  we were told the Leisure age was on its way. By then it was a 40 hour week for most I started on 4 weeks holiday a year and got x amount of sick pay. A year later the standard working week for many was cut to 39 hours with more cuts promised. Those promises have never been met. 

Now 38 years later with all the technology that has occurred there has been no cut. In fact for many I see the working week has increased (not contractually) people are just expected to work the hours needed to conform to what is expected by the company and everyone else. I see that workers have gone backwards in the last 38 years Zero hours contracts , no holiday pay , no sick pay have all reared their heads in the last 15 years. 

 

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51 minutes ago, cbathpc said:

An idea brought to you by people who have never heard of factory workers, call centre workers, delivery drivers, etc. 

Do you mean that these people are already working non-standard weeks? I presume they are. Factories, call centres and deliveries are typically staffed much beyond 9-5, 5 days a week. So they have to be staffed by shift workers and some of these people may be working three or four days. I think people are aware of this. I think some of them don't realise that this doesn't translate so well to most white collar jobs. A lot of jobs are about responding to information and opportunities, so rather than possibly working three or four days a week, the issue is whether people can really switch off in the evenings and weekends.

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1 hour ago, cbathpc said:

An idea brought to you by people who have never heard of factory workers, call centre workers, delivery drivers, etc. 

Presumably this means people part time and on low/zero hour contracts are already working fewer days a week already.

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2 hours ago, Monkey said:

I did a 4 day week a few years ago and it was fantastic.... its amazing how much more personal you can get done with that extra day.

But, that was because everyone else was at work for 1 of those days..... 

I am thinking of going to a 4 day week at my current job, so that i can explore a possible new venture for myself. 

My role has been Mon-Thu since 1st Oct.  It's great.  88% of 2018 take home pay (still a higher rate tax payer), 94% of 2015 take home pay.  Firm didn't try to take a 'cut'.  Strictly pro rata pay & hols, so now have effectively 72 days leave p.a. plus 6 or 7 public holidays.

Briefly did 19hrs over 3 days a few years back, lovely but unsustainable.
Friday is now usually for getting all 'weekend' chores out the way, then its genuine leisure time from Fri Eve - Sun Eve.

4 days on a middle income seems to be a rarity right now, but there's definitely something in the air.
Agree the elite like long hours for the masses.  My situation is a case in point - I intend to use some of this newly acquired time to train as a non-executive director.  How very dare an ex-council house boy conduct proper Risk Mgt and corporate governance, depriving Tarquin  of his god given cushy NED, picking up £1k a month just for pitching up at board meetings..

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Four days a week is great (I've used up quite a chunk of leave this year taking long weekends). But give people the choice and most will take whatever gets them the most pay. And all the pressures of the economic system we live in push for continuing to maximise production and resource consumption, so puts pressure on to work more. It boils down to whether we want more stuff (including money) or time. We've had enough stuff for decades to live without the hardships of the past so time would've been a better choice but there's no way you'll get people to go along with it. And if jobs are lost to automation that won't be spread amongst everyone, some will still work as long (or longer), the rest will have to manage without.

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I would think that at least 30% of time spent at work is nonproductive....wasted time, hanging around, nothing to do, catching up on social media....so hours could quite easily be condensed down making a shorter week if there was a will.....but bosses want peoples valuable time, to be there doing little or nothing part or most of the time.....;)

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31 minutes ago, winkie said:

I would think that at least 30% of time spent at work is nonproductive....wasted time, hanging around, nothing to do, catching up on social media....so hours could quite easily be condensed down making a shorter week if there was a will.....but bosses want peoples valuable time, to be there doing little or nothing part or most of the time.....;)

It depends upon the job whether that "nonproductive" time is just part of the nature of it. 30% less working but without that downtime sounds pretty grim though.

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10 years into a three day week now. Could never go back to five days. Still dumping 50% of salary into pension as well.

Only positive things to say about doing so, and more productive for my employer too. 

Edited by Frugal Git

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Definitely the way forward. Especially if you are someone that employs tradesmen as most of these jobs can be done very easily. The lost income will be more than offset against employing other people to fix the car/house.

 

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I was doing 3 days Tue-Thu, and it was fantastic! Our holidays were almost all long weekends, wife was an Employee so gained holiday at the same time 😆.

The only thing that is shocking to me ...the large amount of brain drain even with a short week.

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21 hours ago, Riedquat said:

Four days a week is great (I've used up quite a chunk of leave this year taking long weekends). But give people the choice and most will take whatever gets them the most pay. And all the pressures of the economic system we live in push for continuing to maximise production and resource consumption, so puts pressure on to work more. It boils down to whether we want more stuff (including money) or time. We've had enough stuff for decades to live without the hardships of the past so time would've been a better choice but there's no way you'll get people to go along with it. And if jobs are lost to automation that won't be spread amongst everyone, some will still work as long (or longer), the rest will have to manage without.

100% agree.

All those comments in the 1950s about how by 2000 we'd all be wearing spacesuits and working 3 days a week is because the assumption was people would choose to use the benefits of technological progress to give them more time.  But they don't.  They use it to give them LOTS more stuff.

However, what people ARE definitely doing more and more (in my experience anyway) is working flexibly i.e. working from home, working odd hours etc etc.  Most people still prefer to work 35-40 hours a week and have more stuff than working part time.  And if they can work from home and structure that 35-40 hours around their kids, hobbies and other preferences if anything that's encouraging them to work MORE rather than less, because they can now work 40 hours AND pick up their kids from school at 3.30pm AND don't have to commute.

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11 minutes ago, scottbeard said:

All those comments in the 1950s about how by 2000 we'd all be wearing spacesuits and working 3 days a week is because the assumption was people would choose to use the benefits of technological progress to give them more time.  But they don't.  They use it to give them LOTS more stuff

Many people work five or six days because they need to in order to put food on the table and a roof over their heads...not because they want LOTS more stuff.  I think this thread is missing the point.  Most people will never be able to relax into a three day week.  The system is set up to prevent this.  Ordinary folk need to compete with each other to secure shelter...those doing three day weeks won't be able to compete and will be on the street.  On the current trajectory competitive bidding for shelter will become more intense and folk will need to work more days per week not less.

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3 minutes ago, Wayward said:

Many people work five or six days because they need to in order to put food on the table and a roof over their heads...not because they want LOTS more stuff.  I think this thread is missing the point.  Most people will never be able to relax into a three day week.  The system is set up to prevent this.  Ordinary folk need to compete with each other to secure shelter...those doing three day weeks won't be able to compete and will be on the street.  On the current trajectory competitive bidding for shelter will become more intense and folk will need to work more days per week not less.

Sadly agree.

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33 minutes ago, Wayward said:

Many people work five or six days because they need to in order to put food on the table and a roof over their heads...not because they want LOTS more stuff.  I think this thread is missing the point.  Most people will never be able to relax into a three day week.  The system is set up to prevent this.  Ordinary folk need to compete with each other to secure shelter...those doing three day weeks won't be able to compete and will be on the street.  On the current trajectory competitive bidding for shelter will become more intense and folk will need to work more days per week not less.

To be clear, the "LOTS more stuff" is in comparison with the 1950s.

And I do appreciate that for some people it's not an option to work any less than they do.

But I think for most people it never even crosses their mind to think "would I prefer a 1950s lifestyle and working 3 days a week, a 1980s lifestyle and working 4 days a week, or a 2010s lifestyle working 5 days a week?" because the latter is a complete no-brainer to them.

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Why would I want to reduce my days? I want to increase my hours.

Bloody mortgage rules where I cant borrow 270k because I cant "afford" to repay it because I don't earn 60k.

Yet my rent costs the same as the mortgage payments. ARGHHHH.

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1 hour ago, Wayward said:

Many people work five or six days because they need to in order to put food on the table and a roof over their heads...not because they want LOTS more stuff.  I think this thread is missing the point.  Most people will never be able to relax into a three day week.  The system is set up to prevent this.  Ordinary folk need to compete with each other to secure shelter...those doing three day weeks won't be able to compete and will be on the street.  On the current trajectory competitive bidding for shelter will become more intense and folk will need to work more days per week not less.

Exactly what makes me question just what the hell the point of all the supposed development and growth we've had since the 1950s actually is - what's been gained (at least once you get past the post-war austerity period)? That's why I've ended up likening a lot of supposed progress to nothing more than an arms race, the change is only needed to keep ahead of others, rather than it actually producing anything particularly useful in its own right (yay, you can get hit with a cruise missile rather than an arrow).

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On 14/11/2018 at 13:17, Insane said:

When my Dad went to work in 1949 the standard working week was  50 - 55 hours , he worked in insurance  and Saturday mornings were a Standard part of the working week for most. Holiday entitlement was two weeks paid and there was very little if any sick pay. 

When I left school in 1979  we were told the Leisure age was on its way. By then it was a 40 hour week for most I started on 4 weeks holiday a year and got x amount of sick pay. A year later the standard working week for many was cut to 39 hours with more cuts promised. Those promises have never been met. 

Now 38 years later with all the technology that has occurred there has been no cut. In fact for many I see the working week has increased (not contractually) people are just expected to work the hours needed to conform to what is expected by the company and everyone else. I see that workers have gone backwards in the last 38 years Zero hours contracts , no holiday pay , no sick pay have all reared their heads in the last 15 years. 

 

If you count dishwashers, microwaves and other labour saving devices which have become a lot more widespread since 1979 there has been a cut - just in home work not work work, if you know what I mean. (Not true of course for those who had them before 79)

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