For those of you who know me personally, know that I have been a proponent of a three or four-day work week for years not just for workers but for students as well.
We only have a five-day work or school schedule by tradition and adoption. Traditions for the future can be changed through adoptions of new behaviors. We can be instrumental in creating change if enough of us have the courage to change and adopt new work habits. But it starts with us envisioning that change and slowly implementing it in our lives and sharing this vision with others.
Last week was Easter week and my kids had that Friday and that Monday off. I enjoy my children having this extra time to themselves so they can do more of what they want to do to enhance skills and talents of their choice. My daughter read 6 books that week not for school but because she wanted to; my son created spreadsheets of stats of games, players or whatever those numbers he types in google sheets represents and he drew all kinds of characters. I love it when they have time to explore learning for learning sake not for a grade and not to be judged by a teacher to say something is right or wrong and not to take a test.
Aren’t we tried of the plutocracy of the work schedule and work life? We literally trade our time for money and still are barely surviving financially, especially now with rising prices of everything. And I don’t rising inflation is changing anytime soon.
We literally allow others to use our greatest benefit of life—our time—for their wealth creation so that by the time we have time to use our time for ourselves we are too tired to do anything else.
Isn’t it funny that the wealthy don’t trade time for money because they know that will never lead to an even exchange. But yet we keep running on the rat wheel thinking we growing wealth while our bank accounts get smaller and smaller while we become more tired and more tired.
Do we want to continue training our kids to use their energies making other people wealthy and themselves unhappy, unmotivated and eager for Friday at 5pm to just turn off and catch a mental break?
This past Easter week, I took that Thursday and Friday off and spent some time in Mississippi with my mother and sister. Haven’t gone to Mississippi on a Thursday in a very long time—haven’t had the time. We had a blast. And my sister and I both said, “we need to do this more often.”
For a long time some employers have been doing every other Friday off. This is called a 9/80 work schedule. This means an employee works 80 hours over nine days instead of 10 days, so that the employee can have an entire day off every other week.
The 9/80 is a slight move from the five-days-a-week, 40-hour workweek, but isn’t quite the same as a four-day workweek because the focus of a 9/80 is to only redistribute time to maintain the same assumption that 40 hours of work time needs to be within a two week period. So basically, on a 9/80 schedule, you work a total of eight nine-hour days and one day off spread over a two-workweek period.
But the signal of change I am forecasting for the future is a true four-day workweek—maybe one day even a three-day workweek. Same pay as you would get for a five-day work week, and no need to crunch in extra hours on any of the four days worked. Just be as productive as you can on the days you do work.
For 3000 employees in the UK a four-day work week will soon be a reality, at least for six months.
In the UK, sixty companies have signed up for a four-day week trial, which will start in June 2022 and end in January 2023. This four-day week trial is being organized by “4 Day Week Global” along with the think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week Campaign and researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College who will all be collecting data and analyzing the results.
Some countries like Belgium have just approved a four-day work week that empowers employees to ignore their bosses after work without repercussion. Now that is a signal of change. This reform in Belgium is a part of a series of labour market reform packages agreed to by the country’s “multi-party coalition government.”
These trials and reform packages although not in America specifically are signals of change that masses of people, like you and me, want our time back.
What if we as a people organized a think thank called Institute For Alternative Possibilities or Open to Possibility Institute or something similar that also suggest reforms that match more of what the masses of people want in America, would you support it? Would you participate in such a think thank or would you think it would be a waste of time because you don’t feel powerful enough to change anything in this country?
What if we as a people demanded a change in governance protocol so that the actual needs and desires of the people not just Big Business and Big Pharma get heard and met?
Do you believe you have any power to effect the changes in your work life you desire?
ABOUT THE BLOGGER
La Shon Y. Fleming Bruce a/k/a SHONSPEAKS is a blogger, certified brain health specialist, speaker, and lead creator of freeyourthinkingmind.com. I am also a lawyer and managing member of The Fleming-Bruce Law Firm, P.L.L.C. If you want to check out more of my writings that may not be released on this site, go over to my website at freeyourthinkingmind.com
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