My new dream for a 4 day week

3 Jun

Today I had a day off.

With my work timelines at present it’s been really hard to get a whole week off, so instead I have been taking a day off a fortnight. Usually it’s Wednesdays, but this week a Friday.

I have to say that jokes about “Mental Health Days” aside, it is amazing how beneficial it is. I’m way more productive and certainly a lot calmer because of these breaks. If only I didn’t keep thinking of new ways I could throw money at my house for boring repairs, I would seriously consider a 4 day week.

It’s funny that I am only just getting to this point, because several of my previous bosses have explained to me that being at work for long hours is not that impressive, or productive. I didn’t see it at the time, but am really getting it now. In fact one of the more annoying sayings I had to put up with from a supervisor was “Being here at all hours isn’t showing your dedication, it’s showing you can’t delegate”. Now I quote that to others – although hopefully along with some useful advice on how you can make your workload manageable enough to implement it without pressure.

It’s also funny that I am moving to this realisation just as our workplace is once again having examples of Senior Managers who exemplify the old workaholic me.  Although perhaps those who know me truly, would not be surprised that I only admit my mistakes when they are not the majority point of view 🙂

Scanning the internet I see I am not alone:

“One of the least known flirtations with the 30-hour work week was by the cereal giant, W.K. Kellogg Company. In 1930, the company announced that most of its 1500 employees would go from an 8-hour to a 6-hour work day, which would provide 300 new jobs in Battle Creek. Though the shorter work week involved a pay cut, the overwhelming majority of workers preferred having increased leisure time to spend with their families and community. [16]

New managers who began running Kellogg had no enthusiasm for the shorter work day. They polled workers in 1946 and found that 77% of men and 87% of women would choose a 30-hour week even if it meant lower wages. Disappointed, management began examining which work groups liked money more than leisure and began offering the 40-hour week on a department-by-department basis.

How long did it take them to get rid of the 30-hour week? Almost 40 years! The desire to have more time to themselves was so strong that it was not until 1985 that Kellogg was able to eliminate the 30-hour work week in the last department.”

from “What’s wrong with a 30 hour work week?”, Climate and Capitalism blog, May 31, 2009, http://climateandcapitalism.com/?p=691

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5 Responses to “My new dream for a 4 day week”

  1. bookgrrl June 3, 2011 at 5:52 am #

    I hope you had a lovely day off today :). And it’s funny how your own life experience makes you realise your bosses were on the right path all those years ago!

  2. Ruth Baxter June 3, 2011 at 5:55 am #

    Mmm. But I only admit that to them after a few years with another boss 🙂

  3. Katie June 3, 2011 at 6:09 am #

    Ahh 3 day weekends. One can only dream.

    • Kat Frame June 4, 2011 at 10:27 am #

      I like your creativity Ruth. It is a dream worth pursuing. As a Ms.4dayaweek I am grateful to the Higher Ed. sector and our union for making flexible work conditions and some sort of work/life balance a possibility.

      • Ruth Baxter June 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

        True. You are livingg the dream. I have to lower my expenditure…

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