Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A 4-Day Work Week? Sign Me Up.

I just read the thought-provoking article, "5 Reasons It’s Time for a 4-Day Work Week," and I must admit, I'm convinced. The piece's main stance is that a shorter work week will make people a) happier and b) more productive. The idea is simple: By compacting the hours we have to get work done, we'll waste less time and be more efficient. And imagine having a FULL three days to reset, relax, explore, and live. A few US company have already employed the tactic and report "increases [in] both output and morale." There's also the interesting point that one less day of running electricity in millions of office spaces and one less day of gridlocked commuting would positively impact the environment.

When I got my first full-time job in NYC, it was the middle of winter. As I accustomed myself to a 45-hour work week, not only was I dead tired by the time I headed home, but the lack of sunlight and freezing weather didn't leave much desire to go to the gym, much less socialize. Happy hours? Forget about it (both figuratively and literally ha). I began to realize that the only time I felt like I was doing something with my life was on Saturdays and Sundays. Friday nights didn't even count, because I would go straight home and fall into bed. I promise I'm not as lame as this is sounding! (Just kidding I totally am.)

Needless to say, summer in NYC is a whole other planet. Getting out of work when there's still sunlight left makes it feel like a crime to head home. I've shifted my routine so that gym time comes at 6am (groan) and the infectious joy of summer nights has made me start making plans after work. Revolutionary! Now I'm getting drinks with friends on Monday night, watching a movie with the roomie Tuesday night, heading to a rooftop party Wednesday night, hosting a dinner party Thursday night, and--lo and behold!- going out on Friday nights. Weekends are no longer my only window to fraternize, so I can take things outside the city. This past weekend I rented a car with some buddies and headed upstate to Dia Beacon and Storm King (instas below). Usually I would suffer insane FoMo leaving NYC for so long- but I knew that whatever was going on in the big apple could happen again tomorrow or the next weekend, and life as we know it would continue.

Now as much as that sort of digressed into an argument against the before-mentioned case, my point is that even if you are living your work week to the fullest, it's still exhausting. Having three days to catch up on rest, visit family, or just learn to exist in a new city would raise one's level of living dramatically. Several other highly-productive countries already have the Mon-Thu rule, so let's say we give it a shot, eh?

Things I could do more of with more time: art appreciating.

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