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Forums - Politics Discussion - 4-Day Work week great for Business and the Community.. ICELAND Experiment

Between 4 10's and 5 8's I might actually prefer the latter (I like my wind down time each night), but I'd be all for 4 8's compensated accordingly. I don't live to work and am trying to get to a point where I can live well working part time (preferably from home). That's probably still a couple years out, though.



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Jumpin said:
Flilix said:

I've been hearing mixed things about these 4-day work weeks. It was proposed here in Belgium by the PS (socialist party), but an expert in labour economics said that it's absolutely unrealistic (unless people are willing to get lower wages and consume less). According to him, the academic world is almost unanimously opposed to it. He says that on the long term there would be a disastorous rise in wage costs and unemployment, because employers will either try to automate more or move to other countries. He also says that the number of burn-outs might stay the same anyways.

https://www.tijd.be/opinie/algemeen/minder-werken-voor-zelfde-loon-is-sciencefiction/9981673.html

As for companies moving to other countries, what’s stopping them from doing that now? Already they can get far cheaper labour in many other countries. If the field is well suited to the market and region, companies won’t move because of pricier labour.

Not sure what you're trying to say here. A lot of companies already moved their labour to non-Western countries. Other companies stayed in rich countries because moving is not favourable enough for them. If the difference in labour cost between countries increases even more, then more companies will find it favourable to move.

Jumpin said:
Flilix said:

I’m not sure which economists they’re citing, but it sounds like they have an avaricious agenda demanding cheap labour, long hours, and low investment only technological advancement. Historical disproves then, anyway. We have a history of improving automation and lowering work hours, and this has had a correlation with stronger democracy and stronger economy.

The author is a labour economics professor himself and he doesn't seem to have a notable bias in any way, and neither does the newspaper.

Bofferbrauer2 said:
Flilix said:

That's only true if the total hours also drop down. Otherwise, if you make 4x10 hours instead of 5x8 hours for instance, there's no change to your weekly work hours, just the fact that you have one more day off per week to relax and recover.

The opposition mostly stems from people who simply remove a day and end up with 4x8 instead of 4x10 yet keep the same monthly salary in mind. of course this would be like a 20% salary increase and not sustainable in such a big jump. But those who calculate like that just show off their failure to do math.

Also less time spent commuting between home and work, which as far as I understand would be a big change in the US as long-distance commutes are relatively normal there. So the only ones really losing out on a 4-days-week would be gas stations due to less commute.

Yeah, this is specifically about the idea of working 32 hours a week and keeping the same wage. If you work 4 days of 10 hours a day, there would of course not be a big difference with 5x8. Whether or not that would be favourable, probably depends on both your own preference and the type of job you do.

Last edited by Flilix - on 07 July 2021

Speaking as someone who typically has to request the addition of a sixth day to my work week in order to make bills, I really want to stress the importance of the "with no reduction in pay" part of this policy. Because I mean I absolutely cannot live on just four workdays per week at my current rate of pay.

If I didn't have to lose any pay though, I'd LOVE to work just four days a week! That sounds like heaven to me. I'm always tired and I'm tired of being tired. It makes me grouchy, which is the worst thing you can be in a service type job like mine.

Last edited by Jaicee - on 10 July 2021

Here they would rather have us working 7 days a week 16 hours a day.
It's always do more with less, more people gettint fired and everyone working for 2 or 3 people, usually need more time than their 5x8 schedule.



Jaicee said:

Speaking as someone who typically has to request the addition of a sixth day to my work week in order not to make bills, I really want to stress the importance of the "with no reduction in pay" part of this policy. Because I mean I absolutely cannot live on just four workdays per week on my current rate of pay.

If I didn't have to lose any pay though, I'd LOVE to work just four days a week! That sounds like heaven to me. I'm always tired and I'm tired of being tired. It makes me grouchy, which is the worst thing you can be in a service type job like mine.

A wage so low like that it's not enough to pay your bills, let alone actually live, should not exist.

Thankfully, it looks like more and more Americans are waking up to this and leaving those job offerings vacant. So much so that the first bosses already start complaining that Americans became lazy, trying to pass the blame to the people instead of raising their wages and solve the problem.



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Reducing the 8 hour work day to fewer hours might be more productive still. But not if that entices more people to get second or third jobs to make bills.

3 x 6 plus one day off, repeat. That's 31.5 hours a 'week' doing away with the archaic week concept. It will never fly, but to me sounds most productive. I find I can't concentrate anymore after 6 hours, no matter how fun it is. At work the extra 2 hours usually result in water cooler talk, unnecessary meetings and email and browsing the internet. Then you go on to crunch for a couple more hours, introducing more bugs along the way... A fresh mind does wonders. I always felt like a zombie coming home after a 10+ hour crunch day. The standard 8-9 hours already took a lot get 'out' of.



SvennoJ said:

Reducing the 8 hour work day to fewer hours might be more productive still. But not if that entices more people to get second or third jobs to make bills.

3 x 6 plus one day off, repeat. That's 31.5 hours a 'week' doing away with the archaic week concept. It will never fly, but have to me sounds most productive. I find I can't concentrate anymore after 6 hours, no matter how fun it is. At work the extra 2 hours usually result in water cooler talk, unnecessary meetings and email and browsing the internet. Then you go on to crunch for a couple more hours, introducing more bugs along the way... A fresh mind does wonders. I always felt like a zombie coming home after a 10+ hour crunch day. The standard 8-9 hours already took a lot get 'out' of.

Does Canada have 1 hour break for lunch? We have in Brazil and it does wonders for us to recover. With home offices tech companies are now incredibly lax with how many time you extend your launch break as long you still met your deadlines and weekly work hours, I can easily eat in 15 minutes and than just take a nap for more one and half hours if I'm feeling stressed or tired

Plus we have an habit to make friends in workspace, hence we spend some time chatting. This make us indeed less productive overall, but make a 8 hours job less exhausting

Curiously I feel I'm chatting MORE now working at home then at office. At office I was silent 99% of the time, because I wasn't alone in the room and I find infuriating when people start to talk out loud when I'm coding. At home I can create chat rooms among the closer friends and shit talk once or twice a day

Plus no more commuting, used to spend almost 3 hours a day taking a bus. Today I can wake up 30 minutes before working and everything is alright

That all makes crunch time much more bearable. Currently I'm working about 50 hours a week and I'm feeling less exhausted than when I was working 40 at office, and this comes with a ~35% increase in my paycheck which is just a nice bonus 



IcaroRibeiro said:

Does Canada have 1 hour break for lunch? We have in Brazil and it does wonders for us to recover. With home offices tech companies are now incredibly lax with how many time you extend your launch break as long you still met your deadlines and weekly work hours, I can easily eat in 15 minutes and than just take a nap for more one and half hours if I'm feeling stressed or tired

Plus we have an habit to make friends in workspace, hence we spend some time chatting. This make us indeed less productive overall, but make a 8 hours job less exhausting

Curiously I feel I'm chatting MORE now working at home then at office. At office I was silent 99% of the time, because I wasn't alone in the room and I find infuriating when people start to talk out loud when I'm coding. At home I can create chat rooms among the closer friends and shit talk once or twice a day

Plus no more commuting, used to spend almost 3 hours a day taking a bus. Today I can wake up 30 minutes before working and everything is alright

That all makes crunch time much more bearable. Currently I'm working about 50 hours a week and I'm feeling less exhausted than when I was working 40 at office, and this comes with a ~35% increase in my paycheck which is just a nice bonus 

The company I worked for (Dutch company) did not consider lunch break part of work time. You can take a long lunch if you want, but were expected to stay later and work (at least) 8 hours.

Working from home has advantages and disadvantages. Apart from the obvious walk over to someone else to figure something out quickly, I found that not having that commute kept me in work mode longer. I had to go out to clear my mind or stay in a vegative state for hours after work. I also tended to crunch longer at home since no bus to catch. At work, if I missed the last bus, it meant working through the night. (Then first bus home, shower, breakfast, back to work lol)

Plus in the office we usually went somewhere together after work, thus not working late and immediate break from work. Couple drinks on the way back, food, go to each others places to hang out or into town to a club. Being more exhausted from working at the office was because of partying too hard after work!

Not having the morning commute is golden though. Especially in winter, waiting for overcrowded public transport in miserable weather. Sometimes having to skip a train cause it was full, can't squeeze more people in there. Working from home was a lot healthier as well. For lunch options we basically had a canteen in a warehouse setup or Mc Donald's for a break away from the office. Then Burger King was on the way back where we switched from bus to train, so many days it was McDs for lunch, BK for dinner :/



You know, Iceland's just kind of an awesome country in general. Their workforce unionization rate is still over 90% (the highest on Earth today), their wealth gap isn't widening, it was the last place on Earth to be settled by humans and more than 99% of their energy supply comes from renewable sources, the World Economic Forum consistently ranks them the most woman-friendly country on Earth anymore, cohabitation is the rule, the beauty industry there is weak because people believe in naturalist aesthetics, they've elected three female heads of state (one president and two prime ministers) in the last 41 years; these being a single mom from a working class background, the world's first openly lesbian head of state, and their current prime minister, many Iceland believe in elves and trolls (seriously!), statistically 1 in every 10 Icelanders will publish a book in their lifetime, and they've never had an army and done just fine. Also, Iceland was recently ranked the world's second-happiest country. So of course it was Iceland to conduct this particularly sweeping and long-lasting experiment with four-day work weeks.

Last edited by Jaicee - on 11 July 2021

SvennoJ said:

Reducing the 8 hour work day to fewer hours might be more productive still. But not if that entices more people to get second or third jobs to make bills.

3 x 6 plus one day off, repeat. That's 31.5 hours a 'week' doing away with the archaic week concept. It will never fly, but to me sounds most productive. I find I can't concentrate anymore after 6 hours, no matter how fun it is. At work the extra 2 hours usually result in water cooler talk, unnecessary meetings and email and browsing the internet. Then you go on to crunch for a couple more hours, introducing more bugs along the way... A fresh mind does wonders. I always felt like a zombie coming home after a 10+ hour crunch day. The standard 8-9 hours already took a lot get 'out' of.

I can see your point.

Having only one day off might more than offset the win from less hours per day, though.

Also, if you need to commute for a long time to get to your work, you'll spend a lot of time in the car/bus/train/whatever you use to commute, and for those who do, this may be very counterproductive.

In short, this might work out better for you, but it's certainly not for everyone.