The Four Day Workweek Back in the News
Late last year Microsoft's successful experiment of trying a four day workweek in August hit the news. I pondered the question about a four day workweek in a blog and thought, it's possible but I wouldn't hold my breath. And while we may get a four day workweek that extra day off might be in the middle of the week, not a three day weekend.
So I was intrigued when I saw another article on the subject. This time about Finland considering a four day workweek with six hour shifts on boredpanda.com. It isn't really a thing though. Finland’s new prime minister Sanna Marin floated an idea during her campaign of a four day workweek with six hour shifts however it's not included in the Finland government's current agenda. To me, this seems a little too far in the other direction.
Hotel experts Anthony Melchiorri and Glenn Haussman had an interesting take on vacations, time off, and workplace stress in an episode of their "Checking In with Anthony and Glenn" podcast. They got talking about "needing" the two week vacation to rest, refresh and recharge and how Europeans generally seem less stressed than Americans.
Their conclusion, and I'm very loosely paraphrasing here, if we took more time for ourselves in our every day lives, like a 3 hour vacation to do something we really want to do once every couple of weeks, perhaps we'd be better off and less stressed out.
While I like the idea of a four day workweek, and I certainly enjoyed some of the time I took off around the holidays, the idea of a short work day two or three times a month intrigues me more than the four day workweek.
The times I've purposefully left work two or three hours early for a specific fun reason always makes me feel good. I feel good when I walk into the office. I feel good doing my job. And I feel the stress just leave my body when I walk out the door. It doesn't matter if I'm heading to a concert. Seeing a movie. Or maybe heading into the city for a date night with my wife.
Heck, there's a couple of times I've had meetings in Warrensburg and purposely scheduled them a little later in the afternoon to not have to come back to the office in Sedalia after them. That itself feels good, to get home a little earlier and have a little extra time to myself.
Like I've said before, I won't turn down the four day workweek. However, it might be more beneficial to occasionally get the heck out of the office a couple of hours early, or come in a couple of hours late, and do something that you want to do. It might just be more refreshing than a long weekend.