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By claykemper
#14335
Virtually all of the discussions on how to reduce gas consumption and traffic congestion involves increasing the supply: Pump more oil, refine more gasoline, build more roads, more busses, new transit systems.

Yes, we need to do those things and more; but, we can make faster, highly effective gains with very little cost through a relatively painless adjustment in our livestyles. Let's institutionalize the 4-day work week.

Here's what it can do:

*Reduce commuting traffic by as much as 20%
*Reduce gasoline consumption and smog from automobiles by a similar amount.
*Give many families the opportunity to spend more time together, including many 3-day weekends.
*Car engines and tires will last much longer.

Here's what it cost:

*Local, regional, state, and federal bureaucracies will have to spend time and energy devising schedules.
*Some agencies and businesses will probably have to remain on the 5-day work week. Schools are one example.
*Longer work days might pose too much difficulty for some families.

Several states are already devising plans for the 4-day work week. Looking at the concept on a national scale might be very beneficial for our country.
By jodonow
#23768
? so you're basically suggesting banning work for 3 days of the week?
that's not a very good idea in the vast majority of peoples minds, including mine.
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By Xxistent
#23860
A four-day work week? I'd feel so sorry who get an hourly income if this happened. Yay, let's all make less money! Or let's work for morning to midnight so we can pay rent! Yaaaaayyyyyyy!
This would ordinarily work, if only looking at for the sole purposes of saving gas and lowering traffic, but people do drive for other reasons than to go to work. Sure, there would be less traffic, but just during the 3 day week, and we'd save a little gas. But the difference is negligible anyway, so it's not worth it.
By s49
#23869
This already happens at some companies. Usually a 10-hour workday.
By Surfin Cypherz
#23883
My first question to the naysayers would be; who started the five day work week and why? Why five, not six or four, why not seven? Why not make a traditional week 10 days long, why do we have it as seven?

Your questioning the loss in money, but the original poster did not suggest a decrease in money. Some places do four days, and even better in my opinion some places do flex time. A lot of people can not imagine flex time working for every job, but I can see work around for every job I have thought about. Like grocery stores usually do a fluctuating schedule, which is a real pain in the ass for getting regular sleep. Funny thing is they will often send people home super early if things aren't busy. So management enjoys the privilege of controlling your schedule in a flexible way, and sending you home early when they feel they do not need you. Why not give the employee who has been around for some time, and whom the management knows is trust worthy, and does a good job, esp. shows up on time etc, the privilege of flex time. You know you can trust this person to not leave early if he or she is needed, I know several loyal employees who could be trusted in this way.

Benefit of providing this kind of flex time at most jobs:
-Reliable employees feel respected, feel their time and autonomy is valuable
-You save on gas by not needing to drive to work, if you are not needed at work
-More time with the family; which is something I believe is desperately needed in the modern world
-Potentially higher quality work when people feel they have more control over their time (can even spend more time at work if they feel they need to); feeling your time is respected may equal greater respect for the time of your employer.

As for the original four day work week. Considering my reasoning for flex time, I do not see why a four day work week would not be possible. I don't mean that you should not be aloud to work more than four days, but some people work 6 day weeks even though the normal is 5. So what I interpet the proposal to be is that the new normal become 4 days. I think this is excellent.

I suggest 4 day normal work week, and flex time for long time employees.
By jodonow
#23884
Surfin Cypherz wrote:My first question to the naysayers would be; who started the five day work week and why? Why five, not six or four, why not seven? Why not make a traditional week 10 days long, why do we have it as seven?

It used to be 6 day work week, christians, jewish and muslims had respectively sunday, saturday and friday off. then some companies started giving sunday and saturday off to accommodate both christians and jewish workers, and you can read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_week#Reform and read on the Fair Labor Standards Act.
and a week is 7 days long cause it's a quarter of a moon cycle.

there is no law stopping anyone being employed for 4 days of the week, it's up to the employer and employee to decide what contract they want. there is only restrictions on how many hours per week can be worked in most (normal) contracts, it varies between countries but in western ones it's about 40-50.
one could argue that there isn't enough flexibility and variance in the types of contracts that are made but nothing is stopping anyone from demanding/offering unorthodox working hours, as long as they don't exceed the maximum.
By Surfin Cypherz
#23885
jodonow wrote:one could argue that there isn't enough flexibility and variance in the types of contracts that are made but nothing is stopping anyone from demanding/offering unorthodox working hours, as long as they don't exceed the maximum.


I would argue just that. On top of that, look at the maximum, I would agree it is a good idea to have something that says you must give people a break, but many believe we overwork people in the United States. In many other countries, hour long lunch breaks have been the norm for sometime, and we are only beginning to see this in some areas in the U.S.
I would also argue that something is stopping people from demanding/offering unorthodox workinging hours:
1. The status quo
2. The vast majority do it one way, so it is easier for everyone to coordinate their lives around the same patterns.
3. People complain about it, they say they don't like following, but history shows people like being told how to live their lives. They like not have to manage them themselves. The church has fallen from this task, so business has taken over.

To break these dynamics quickly and easily is no simple task. This whole issue is actually quite complex, part of a system, and that particular system controls more about our lives than you might give it credit for.

How can people simply demand a particular schedule when they believe they have to do what they are told to get the money they need to survive? How can people function with a clear head when they suffer from mental health issues connected to wonky circadian rhythms, because they were indoctrinated in a system that does not accounts for their individual neuro-biological needs.

Don't you think It is about time we planned our lives around a proper modern scientific understanding of the body, and brain, not around a Christian conception of how many days it took for God to create all of this?
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