The work week should be 24 hours. The reasons for shortening the work week are fairly obvious. People are overstressed, exhausted, lots of jobs are dehumanizing, there’s little to no time for socializing, parents don’t get to spend enough time with their kids, romantic partners have little time to spend together. The consequences of a 40 hour, often longer, work week are immense. Unlike Naomi Klein’s three eight hour work days though, I think we should have four six hour work days.
My proposed 24 hour work week would have four six hour work days, each day having two three hour work periods with a two hour break in between. I’d do this because on average, 90 percent of a workers productivity comes in the first three hours. Work for three hours, then get a two hour break to go eat lunch, go to the gym, go to a library to read a book, go on a date, get a massage etc. Basically, a two hour break to refresh, get your mind off work, de-stress yourself. Then go back to work for three more hours, where you’ll be able to be productive again. So in a six hour day with a two hour break in between three hour work periods, you’d be 80% more productive than in an eight hour day with only a 30 minute lunch break. Over the course of four work days, you’d be 220% more productive than in a 40 hour work week. You’d produce 720% in 24 hours compared to 500% in 40 hours.
But wait, I’d lose income! No, you’ll make more. Let’s take the $15 minimum wage in Seattle. 15 x 8 means you make $120 in a day. Since 90% of your productivity comes in the first three hours at work, you’re really earning $108 of your daily income in the first three hours. 108 divided by three is $36. So I’d make the minimum wage $36. $36 an hour for six hours means you’d make $216 each day instead of $120. You’d make $864 a week compared to $600 a week. $3456 a month compared to $2400 a month. $41472 a year compared to $28800 a year. So, a 24 hour work week with four six hour days with a two hour break means you can afford to pay rent, buy food, go on vacations etc.
A six hour work day, with the two hour break, comes out to eight hours total. The current eight hour work day, plus a 30 minute lunch break, means an 8 ½ hour day. With the six hour day, a person leaves work half an hour earlier, which means getting home a half hour earlier, meaning an extra 30 minutes every day spent with your kid for those who have kids. Or an extra half hour spent with your partner. It means 30 less lonely minutes for your dog.
A four day work week means one extra free day. One extra day with your kid. More time for a weekend trip out of the cities. An extra day to spend with your friends. More time with your partner and/or going on dates. An extra day to de-stress. An extra day to simply live life, to enjoy life. It also means one less day for people to travel to and from work, reducing traffic, thus reducing pollution.
Having a 24 hour work week with four six hour days featuring two three hour work periods with a two hour break in between means people will be less stressed. People will bring home more money, thus reducing poverty, and meaning healthier food choices. With less stressed people and more time, people will be able to exercise more, also making for healthier people and thus a healthier society. Families will be more stable because parents are home with their children more, and don’t have to worry about rent and/or food. Relationships would benefit, because people have more time to spend with their friends, and with partners. People would have more time to meet new people and/or build relationships with those they love, thus reducing the need for online dating. People would have more time and money for going on vacations, thus life is more enjoyable. People would feel less like workers, less like products, and more like humans. People would feel more alive.
So yea, society would be more connected with a 24 hour work week. Life would be better, more fun.