Mandatory 4 day work week?

Katherine - posted on 11/11/2010 ( 25 moms have responded )

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It is essential that we mandate a four day workweek for the following reasons. >Reduction of health problems >Economically wise >Energy efficiency and environmental friendly. • Going back to my first reason "Reduction of health problems"; America is a stress filled country. This is a growing problem that must be resolved. Every day, more and more people die from anxiety and many commit suicide.



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[deleted account]

My husband does 39.5 hours over 5 days mon-fri but he works for the NHS and the labs are open mon-fri =]

Stifler's - posted on 11/12/2010

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i wish mine would go to a 4 on 4 off roster again. working 6 months of the year for the same amount of pay was so much better.

Becky - posted on 11/12/2010

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I did the 4 day work week for a while, just working 10 hours a day. It would've been great for me, except that my commute was an hour or more each way, whcih made it a 12 hour day - plus frequent overtime, so I went back to working 5 days. It is nice to have a day off during the week though, to do those errands that you can't do on the weekend. My husband would go to a 4 day work week in an instant if he was given the option. And I'd be fine with that, because then he could go to the bank and run his errands, instead of me having to drag the kids along with me to do it!

Rosie - posted on 11/12/2010

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my husband does this, and he and i enjoy it a lot more than his previous 5 day 8 hour shifts.(which never really were 8 hours, but that's a different story). he enjoys 3 days off, and since it's the only time we would get to see him, since he works at night, it's great having that extra day in there since our time together is so limited anyway.
i certainly don't think this should be mandatory. some people like their 8 hour shifts. i do wish people had the option to choose though, lol! am i asking for too much??

Stifler's - posted on 11/12/2010

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My husband works 10 1/2 hour days now lol so we would just lose a days pay.

Chrystal - posted on 11/12/2010

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Well I think if we do a 4 day work week we would still need our 40 hours to be able to survive. So a 4 day work week would be great but that would also mean that you would be working longer hours each day.

Mary - posted on 11/12/2010

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As someone who has not worked a 5 day work week since 1994, I can say there are both pros and cons to this. I never did 10 hour days, but either straight 12's, or a combination of 12 and 8 hr shifts. Depending on your financial situation, most nurses do 3 12hr shifts a week. It is only 36 hrs a week, but still considered full time from a benefits perspective.

The extra days off are GREAT...I loved being able to do things like going to the grocery store, bank or post office on week day mornings when they are not overwhelmingly crowded. I did not have to miss time from work for things like doctor's appointments or the dentist for either myself or my child (or the vet for the dogs!).

As appealing as all of that sounds, there is a down side. Those days you work are LONG, and at the end, you are so damned tired that you have energy for little other than vegging in front of the TV. I have never done 10's, but I can't imagine they are all that much easier. For example, with a 12 hr day, I left the house by 6:15 in the morning, and got home somewhere between 8 and 8:30 pm. Considering the additional traffic, a 10 hr day would put me home at 6:30pm at the earliest. A little better, but not really enough time to accomplish a whole lot between dinner and bedtime, especially when you have a child to deal with.

Which brings up another issue with extended days...childcare. In households with 2 working parents (or one single), this does make things dicey, unless your child is in a daycare almost immediately next to your place of business. Even then, considering the additional time from drop-off to pick-up, your child is in daycare for a minimum of 11 hours. Long day for a little one. Once they are school-aged, a longer workday is more time after school that you need to figure out what to do with that kid until you get home.

I still do 12's, but from a childcare perspective, it only works because my husband does not. I'm not saying that longer work days can't work, but to do it across the board would be a difficult transition.

Eliz - posted on 11/12/2010

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I have worked a 4 day work week in the past and you don't lose a days pay. They extend the hours. Instead of five 8 hour days you have four 10 hour days.

Bonnie - posted on 11/12/2010

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I agree with Emma. Wouldn't want my husband to lose out on the pay every week. Not only that, but i'm not sure I want my husband home that extra day lol j/k.

[deleted account]

If you worked 10 hours per day for each of those 4 days you wouldn't lose any pay. I'd be all for that.

Jodi - posted on 11/11/2010

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Carol, Australia's unemployment is already down at around 6.5%. We are getting close to what would be referred to as full employment. When that occurs, it can actually drive up wages costs. By more people working less hours, this would reduce our unemployment to levels that would make it economically detrimental. Every time I think about how it could possibly work, I go around in circles. I CAN, however, see how it may work for a country in deep recession and with high unemployment rates.

Stifler's - posted on 11/11/2010

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The recession worked in my favour. Other contractors got sacked and my husbands company got a pay rise and more work and over time shifts.

Charlie - posted on 11/11/2010

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Ah yes sorry missed that :)
Our trade with Chia is strong and our resources in which we trade are booming !

Johnny - posted on 11/11/2010

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Yes, the turn-around I was referring to occurred in the late 80's, early 90's. Increased corporatism in the Dutch political scene has reversed many of those successes.

I'd also argue that it is partly about locale. Australia benefited from being in close proximity to Asia, which did not suffer like Europe & North America in the global recession. Most Canadian economists have stated that our economy is in recession simply because our largest trading partner is in a severe recession and is not buying our exports.

Charlie - posted on 11/11/2010

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Last i heard the netherlands was in deep reccession in 2009 while Australia the longest working in hours out of the western world never went into actual reccession although our economy did dip it never went so far as to be able to be called true reccesion .

Johnny - posted on 11/11/2010

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It can actually improve the economy. Some economic theorists believe that the constant push to more productivity may be costing our economies and our citizens in ways that do not necessarily end up on the economic balance sheet, but cost us nonetheless. Such as increased illness burdening the government healthcare systems.

There are countries that have tried this approach:

"In 1982, labor unions in the Netherlands agreed to limit demands for higher pay in exchange for policies encouraging people to work less. Within a decade, the proportion of Dutch citizens working part-time soared from 19 percent to 27 percent, the average work week fell from 30 to 27 hours, and unemployment had plummeted from 10 % to 5 %. "
~Nothing Grows Forever, Clive Thompson,
Mother Jones, June 2010

It was called the Dutch miracle and it turned their economy around, brought down inflation and lessened the income gap. It also lead to lower government costs.

Theoretically, if the wage of the population as a whole stays stable (as opposed to the current situation where the wages of the lower income earners are falling and the wages of the upper income earners are climbing drastically), then prices stabilize and the cost of living is bearable. We'd also have to consume less which would lead to environmental improvements.

Obviously these concepts are a total anathema to those believing in capitalist economics. And no one is saying that it wouldn't be painful, but in the long run, our planet and it's population would likely be healthier and happier.

http://www.neweconomics.org/press-releas...

Stifler's - posted on 11/11/2010

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I never used it to study either. The rest of school started at 9 and the 11s and 12s started at 8 and we all finished at 3.10. Half the grade didn't go to the 8am class either.

Charlie - posted on 11/11/2010

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Um yeah whos gonna pay for all the bills an expenses it costs to live ?
I heard on the news the other day Australians work longer hours than anyone else in the western world ! crazy ...

Jodi - posted on 11/11/2010

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My son's school does 4 day weeks for the Year 11 & 12's too. It is supposed to be a study day (back when I did high school we had study periods each day, but they have no condensed it into a single day each week), but I guarantee, the kids don't generally use it to study!!

Jodi - posted on 11/11/2010

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I was thinking the same Emma, who is going to pay for it? I know people won't want to lose a day's pay, and I know businesses won't pay the extra day without the work......

I heard them proposing 35 hour weeks for Australian workers, and I wondered then whether people were prepared to take pay cuts in order to have the shorter hours. Ultimately, a decision to shorten the working week may have benefits, but I also believe it will have an initial negative impact on the economy, whoever pays for it.

Stifler's - posted on 11/11/2010

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i had a 4 day school week but only in the last 2 years of high school, we were supposed to be studying/doing traineeships the other day not having a day off.

[deleted account]

Some rural schools across the nation have gone to a 4 day school week, but extended the school day. It works for some districts. I was on a research committee in my former district 2 years ago to look at a 4 day school week, but ultimately the best financial decision was to shut down 2 schools.

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