4 Day Work Week…Would It Really Be So Bad?

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Four Hour Work Week
The workforce is a scary place right now.

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Really, it is.

For those unemployed, it seems like it’ll take a miracle of God to find a job.

And for those of us who DO have jobs, we hope and we pray that we’ll be able to keep them.

Even GREAT organizations…even organizations that have been recognized for their financial stability… right now, they’re having to deal with not-so-great stuff like budget cuts and layoffs.

Take a look at the equation below, it’s pretty simple.

Budget cuts + fear of layoffs = unhappy, scared, & unproductive employees

Ask any employer.

I was thinking about this yesterday because I came across the term “Furlough Fridays.”

For those of you who don’t know, the term “furlough” is essentially a leave of absence, a vacation, a holiday. You’ll hear this term a lot these days because many government employers are implementing “furloughs”.

They’re mandating that employees take time off work….with no pay.

Basically, they don’t have money to pay you…so you need to go home.

NOT COOL.

So then I started thinking about it…what would happen if I had Fridays off because my employer couldn’t afford to pay me?

Would the extra time off be worth the pay cut?

And so I came to the conculsion that for some people, it WOULD be worth it.

I’ve written a lot about Gen Y and how we’ve pretty much redefined what success looks like.

Instead of spending our entire lives devoted to a job, 70+ hours a week, we want time to spend with our familes and our friends.

We want time to pursue our other interests, our other hobbies.

We want time to travel.

But we give up a lot of this time because we need to make ends meet. We need to pay rent.

More often than not, a part-time job just won’t pay the bills.

But on the other hand, a full-time job usually leaves us exhausted, with no time to enjoy the other aspects of life that we’re interested in.

But what about an extra day off every week? What about an extra day off every TWO weeks?

I think some people would love that.

Now I’m not trying to say that all employers should send their employees home every Friday. I’m not trying to say that employees should be paid less.

What I AM trying to say is that in SOME situations, rather than having to lay off employees, the budget could possibly be reduced by allowing employees the option of working a few days less each month.

At a time when employers are trying to cut budgets while avoiding at all costs having to lay off employees, I think it might be a good time to think outside the box.

I think we’d be surprised by how many people would jump at the chance to have a little more time off.

To have an extra day to spend with their kids.

To have an extra day to run errands.

To have an extra day to go away for the weekend.

It’s not feasible for all employers. It’s not feasible for all employees.

But in some situations, I think it is.

And I certainly think it’s a much better option than having to lay off employees.

Because laying off employees kills morale.

It kills morale and it can destroy an organization’s culture in two seconds.

But allowing employees to have an extra day of freedom…

That might just do the complete opposite.

Something to think about…

Kayla Cruz, founder of Gen Y Girl, is a young twentysomething just entering the workforce and hoping to share her experiences with other young professionals. She’s not bratty, just opinionated and writes at www.lostgenygirl.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @GenY_Girl.

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