The 3 Day Working Week, Would it Work?

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Mexican billionaire tycoon Carlos Slim has called for an end to the standard 9 to 5, 5 days a week routine, in favour of a shorter 3 day week. But how would this work you ask? Mr Slim is proposing longer days and an older retirement age, allowing for up to twice as much free time out of the office!

But should businesses really take this suggestion seriously? Well, as the world’s second richest man with an estimated net worth of over $75 Billion, we’re all ears.

The telecoms tycoon has argued that life expectancies are now much longer, meaning that retirement age should now be around the 70-75 mark, coupled with 10 or 11 hour working days to compensate. This new super productive labour force would allow for more time to relax, and generate new entertainment activities to increase quality of life.

In a recent interview Mr Slim said; “You should have more time for you during all of your life — not when you’re 65 and retired.”

The idea has been criticised for lending itself to more creative industries, and wouldn’t be as suitable for local authorities and public service jobs. There is much debate surrounding whether an increase in productivity would be sufficient to fill the hole created by new 33 hour working weeks.

This is exactly what some small companies in Australia have done, instigating a 4 day week flexible workplace policy. Advocates of the scheme suggest that benefits include improvements in employee health and environmental impact, although we’re sure the extra lie-in doesn’t hurt either.

It is worth remembering that the obsession we share with our smartphones and mobile devices has also meant that we are almost always within reach of work, begging the question of whether we really need to be in the office as much as we are?

Perhaps one day there’ll be no need to show up at the office, working instead from home in virtual working environments.

Posted November 25, 2014

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