UNITED STATES—There has been so much talk in the past year or so (actually much longer) about switching from a five-day work week to a four-day work week. The problem with that is who gets to dictate if a business can force employees to work a four-day work week or a five-day work week? Businesses may not be able to operate at a rate that forces them to cut down an entire day of productivity. I mean, could the auto plants operate on 4 days versus 5 or 6 or even in some cases 7 days? Possibly, but who knows.
It is possible, but they might be forced to work more than 10 hours in a single day, it might be pushed to 12 or even 14-hour workdays. Not sure if many Americans will be willing to sign up for such a feat. Look, for most 8 hours is a chore, 10 is a bit tough, 12 hours can be brutal, but when you get to 14 to 18 hours in a workday, it is taxing on the body and mind. I don’t see many Americans saying sign me up for working 4 days a week at 10 hours each day.
Now legislation was recently passed in Pennsylvania where they are pushing for the 4-day workweek, with workers only having to put in 32 hours, but still getting paid for 40 hours. Hmm, the math is not adding up there. You’re expecting employers to pay people for 40 hours, but they only delivered 32 hours of productivity. Yeah, that just doesn’t seem fair in my opinion, and as a business owner, that would not work for me.
I can understand if it’s holiday pay, paid sick leave that has been earned or paid vacation time that was earned, but just giving out free pay for hours not worked, I don’t see many businesses just saying sign me up. I personally don’t love a 5-day work week, but at the same time I don’t mind it either. I would rather work 5 days for shorter-time frames, so I have more time to spend with family and friends. However, having a 4-day work week gives you the option to have an extra day off during the week to take care of errands that are not always easy to complete on weekends.
I think that is something so many people forget, NOT everyone has Saturday and Sunday off. Most people are forced to work the weekends, so those things they want to do on the weekend, they cannot. The same applies for those who work during the week. If they have to go to the doctor, go to the bank, or handle other errands that are not always easily completed on the weekend. Having that day off during the week helps to get those things done, that are not possible other days.
For workers with kids, having a four-day work week might be a great alternative because it gives them a day during the work week to complete tasks that are not always easy. I mean you’re already getting up 5 days a week to prepare them for school, imagine having an extra day where you can take them to school, but after you drop them off you have several hours to yourself to clean the house, prepare for next week or complete other tasks that you might have.
If this notion of changing what we know as the typical workweek shifts, it should be a choice for the workers and the employers to decide, NOT the government. The government should give people the freedom to choose to do as they please without forcing something because they think it appeals to all. Hell, half of the politicians only go to work 2-3 days a week so they would never understand.
Written By Jason Jones