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David

4-Day Work Week & 6-Hour Work Day - Thoughts?

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With all of the negative news we're getting politically, it's sometimes easy to overlook the fact that other nations are quietly moving on with a more progressive political and social outlook.

One such nation is Finland, led by new Prime Minister, and youngest female Head of Government in the world, Sanna Marin. 

She's recently been championing the idea of a flexible working schedule in the country that would foresee a 4-day-week and 6-hours working day. Marin, who leads a five-party coalition of centre-left parties entirely headed by women, said “I believe people deserve to spend more time with their families, loved ones, hobbies and other aspects of life, such as culture. This could be the next step for us in working life.”

The 6-hour day has been in effect in Sweden since 2015, where it seems to have been a successful transition for the most part with employees claiming to be happier, wealthier and more productive, and where customer and client satisfaction remains high despite the reduction in hours.

I know there's next to no chance of us seeing such a move under our current government, but what are the thoughts on this generally? Does anyone think it wouldn't be a good idea? Less time spent at work seems to help with mental and physical health, relationships within families and suchlike.

Edited by David

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I think the society as a whole would have to accept big changes such as earlier closing hours (no more 24 hour supermarkets), shops possibly closed on Sunday and retail closed on Bank Holidays/Christmas/New Years. I don't think that will ever happen but would allow for rest, time with families and saved costs (which means cheaper prices for say food if on lower wages).

Edited by Briefcase

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It’s frustrating when you see how other countries so close (geographically) to ours can adopt approaches to public services, education, prison & rehabilitation etc. that work far better than ours for less cost.

The sad fact remains that the cultural difference between the UK & other countries is a million miles away. Brits would rather have stuff that doesn’t work that they think should, rather than proven policies that we don’t ‘like the sound of’.

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I think an accepted four-day work week in the UK is entirely possible within the decade. 

Any business that can measure its employees' work output on performance will be able to have increasingly better insight into the quantity of work produced by each employee. If management can compress 5 days into 4, I'm sure they will, although for the employees that will probably come at the cost of a decrease or at least stagnation in wages for a few years.

Increased automation from 'AI' (loosely used) software will also play a big role in making some services entirely obselete. Chatbots, text and voice, will remove the need for any kind of call service teams, for instance.  

As for the 24/7 supermarkets @Briefcase mentioned, it's now a matter of time before Amazon or similar manages to create a same/next day grocery delivery service good enough that will render the need for 24/7 supermarkets irrelevant.

However, I think by far the biggest point to make here is that a four-day work week would be so beneficial to consumer brands and businesses that I could see a major push for it to happen.

It's an extra day that could be spent browsing Facebook, buying from Amazon or reading news websites. It's a golden ticket for consumer capitalism.

Edited by Undefeated Steak

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39 minutes ago, Undefeated Steak said:

It's an extra day that could be spent browsing Facebook, buying from Amazon or reading news websites. It's a golden ticket for consumer capitalism.

I read a book on the idea of shorter work weeks and universal credit called Utopia For Realists recently. He says how Ford reduced workers' hours to 40 hours a week and that everyone thought he was crazy. He said that his employees would be able to buy his cars and use them in their free time. 

I think people wearing the amount they work as a badge of honour is more a thing than people being lazy. It's engrained in our culture. There have been several cases where shorter work weeks have ended up being as productive or more productive than the original work week, partly through morale being higher and not being as tired. 

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How do I afford to live on half the wages I currently earn? Will the cost of living come down so much that I could afford it? I'm all for working less but I have no idea how it'd work. I currently work 50 hours across 6 days a week and have every sixth week off that I accumulate from the sixth day that is basically banked for the week off.

Maybe a revised version of that would be more managable across many work places.

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If you worked a Monday to Friday, and switched to a 4 day week and your company asked you what day off you would like, what would you say?

The only answer is Monday or Friday isn’t it? A mate of mine says Wednesday; “you know, to break up the week” I suspect he’s a sex offender tbh 

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18 minutes ago, SuperBacon said:

If you worked a Monday to Friday, and switched to a 4 day week and your company asked you what day off you would like, what would you say?

The only answer is Monday or Friday isn’t it? A mate of mine says Wednesday; “you know, to break up the week” I suspect he’s a sex offender tbh 

I work 3 days at present, Mondays & Tuesdays are my days off (home with baby). I hate the idea of breaking the week up. I obviously like long weekends and I need they rhythm of several days in a row at work, to keep on top of shit. Breaking it up would be a head fuck. The idea of the dreaded ‘going back to work’ more than once per week is madness.

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My place has offered a day per week working from home. Mondays and Fridays are hard to come by, but I do enjoy working from home on a wednesday. I don't see it as having to go back to work all over again. I look at it from the point of view that I only ever have 2 days in the office at a time and that is quite refreshing. 

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Yeah wfh is very different. I wfh on a Wednesday to break up the week, but if it was an actual day off it would be Monday for sure.

Fridays are the most pointless day to wfh, as no other fucker comes in on a Friday anyway so it's nice and quiet in the office and the trains are empty. Also casual Fridays means Friday in the office = one less shirt to iron.

Edited by Chest Rockwell

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I work Thursday-Monday and have Tuesday and Wednesdays off which is nice for me and also means for every week I book off work (Thurs-Mon) I get 9 days off in  row which works out well for me.

Not sure how working 4 days can financially work unless the price of everything is lowered substantially to reflect the drop in wages of everyone 

Edited by MVP RULZ

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