Two more data-points from different parts of the world that move the Overton Window on the 4-day week.
First, David Olive, the Toronto Star’s business correspondent, writes that we should “get ready for the four-day work week, an idea whose time has come.”
“John Maynard Keynes, the greatest economist of modern times, imagined a future of 15-hour work weeks. Even in 2021, that might be pushing things,” Olive admits, but “32- to 35-hour work weeks and a three-day weekend, those are ideas whose time should come.”
Second, in Business Live in South Africa, Andreas Kluth asks, “Could a four-day week be the future of work?”
Fortunately, priorities are beginning to shift in some cultures. Germans used to be famous for hard work; these days they’re notorious for long holidays on Majorca. Western Europeans in general have discovered the joys of slowing down, especially when compared to Americans, hence the witticism that Brits rhyme leisure with pleasure, Yanks with seizure.
I’d never heard that last bit before, but I’m going to steal it.
Kluth admits that “you can only slow down if your employer plays along, and bosses will need a lot more convincing that less face time doesn’t have to mean less productivity.” However, “that’s exactly what recent trials in Iceland showed.”
So the 4-day week is moving from a crazy idea to be dismissed out of hand, and is starting to look like something that you can make a case for. That’s a HUGE shift.