Time Off for Productive Behavior

In offices across the land, someone’s co-worker is making a remark that ‘it’s hump day.’ Wednesday. Just two more days after this.

But what if the weekend was only one more day away?

Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times (1936). Note to younger readers: workers are not always this happy.

Joe Pinsker over at The Atlantic does a deep dive into the move by several companies to reduce working days (and hours) down to four, but keeping the pay that had been allocated for five: effectively giving their employees an immediate 20% raise and more time off.

However, not content to simply point to the data that suggest this move has boosted productivity –and not just for white collar jobs– Pinsker goes further into the why we currently have a societal notion of the 5-day, 40-hour workweek, how business leaders railed against what we have now, and how economists and others saw a future society would naturally start working less hours per week because of the benefits of automation and efficiency.

It’s well worth a read.

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