In the New York Times Dealbook, Kevin Delaney asks, “Is the Four-Day Workweek Finally Within Our Grasp?”
Driven by the flexible work arrangements and bonus days off that were introduced during the pandemic, concern for burnout and empowerment of employees in a tight labor market, companies are embracing a shorter workweek.
It talks about a number of companies that have made the shift during the pandemic, and why old predictions (like Richard Nixon’s 1956 speech about the 4-day week) are finally coming to pass.
It ends with me:
Proponents of four-day weeks say the key is to rein in meetings. “You have better discipline around meetings. You’re a lot more thoughtful in how you use technology,” said Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, author of “Shorter,” a book about the four-day workweek. He also said that a shorter week requires workers to set aside time for focused work and refrain from email or other communications during that time.
“To paraphrase William Gibson, the four-day week is already here for most companies,” said Mr. Pang, an organizational strategy consultant in Menlo Park, Calif. “It’s buried under a whole bunch of rubble of outmoded practices and bad meetings. Once you clear that stuff away, then it turns out the four-day week is well within your grasp.”
When I was a freshman in college, one of my best friends was from Scarsdale, New York, and he became my local informant about East Coast culture: I literally had my first bagel with lox at a brunch we went to, he explained what people found funny about Woody Allen movies, and how to save money using only return tickets on Amtrak (a weird pricing thing that’s since ended). One of the things Sam told me was that I needed to read the New York Times, because two people meeting between DC and Boston would start a conversation assuming that the other had also read that morning’s New York Times. I’ve no idea if it was really ever true (I think the Wall Street Journal would disagree), but I still get a charge getting quoted in the paper of record!