The Future of Work Hours
Many of us work from 9 to 5. But 5pm is not when our usual work ends. Some people work well past 5pm, often bringing their work home. Not to mention, there is plenty of unpaid work we do on a daily basis to take care of our homes and families. But is it always going to be this way? Not necessarily.
The Impact of COVID-19
Before the COVID-19 Pandemic, most Americans worked in an office. They couldn’t always bring their work home with them, so it was easy to disconnect until the next workday. However, when the pandemic forced us all to work from home, the boundary between work and home began to blur. Suddenly, workers were on-call 24/7, and it was harder to disconnect since all their work supplies were with them.
As workers became increasingly burnt out, they started to question the 24/7 work cycle. Did they always have to be available? And even if their boss respected the 9 to 5 schedule, was it realistic to work 40 hours per week? Turns out, there’s another way.
The 4-Day Work Week
Many employers and employees scoffed at the idea of a 4-day work week. How could they get all their work done in four days? And how could they work four days without a cut to their pay? But as recent experiments have shown, a 4-day work week can be extremely beneficial to ourselves and to the environment.
Turns out, workers can get the same amount of work done in 32 hours as they do in 40. Why? Because they’re not as overwhelmed or burnt out. The extra day off from work allows workers to recharge and take a break from their tasks. Not only that, but it gives them extra time for hobbies, chores, and more. All of this allows workers to feel better rested, and therefore more motivated and productive.
It can also help the environment. That extra day off can lower greenhouse gas emissions, since people will not be driving as much or using as much energy as they normally would.
Focusing on Basic Needs
A 4-day work week or three 10 hour work days are just some of the ways we can help workers be healthier and happier. Another way that quality of life can improve, Renew the Earth has suggested, is the creation of a parallel currency dedicated to providing basic needs worldwide for every living person. This would be a non investable, non taxable currency that runs concurrent with existing currencies. Its only purpose is to provide food, shelter, education and healthcare to everyone. Visit Renew the Earth to learn more!