Streams

Four Days a Week

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Time Magazine staff writer Bryan Walsh writes about Utah's successful experiment with a 4-day workweek, then NYS Assemblyman Mike Gianaris (D-36, Queens) talks about why he wants the 4-day workweek instituted in New York State.

Guests:

Mike Gianaris and Bryan Walsh

Comments [23]

Christine Reitman from Manhattan, NY

A 4 day work week would be GREAT! It would create more productivity and postivism in the
workforce. Worker would be more rested and happier. 3 days off/ week- time is a needed factor in today's world- we do not have enough of it.
It is at least worth a try- the pessimism we
are facing in our world is eroding our faith that things will get better. A boast will go along way!!!!!!!
Let's be PROACTIVE for this important cause.

Aug. 27 2009 11:52 AM
John from Somerset, NJ

Sounds like a good idea. I wonder how it might affect things like childcare. Most daycare centers and after school care programs I know about end at 6pm.

Aug. 27 2009 11:29 AM
a woman from inwood

MISUNDERSTANDING alert! They have a 4-day work week in France, but with business open 5 days! It's the workers taking shifts. Some work mon-thurs, others tues-fri. It works very well, people like it, but it doesn't really save energy in the workplace. Just morale.

You're getting this mixed up with the four-day business hours of entire companies.

Aug. 27 2009 11:26 AM
m from queens

I recently convinced my employer to let me work a 4 day week 10 hours a day. It took me a couple of weeks to get used to it but now I love it and I am more available to my clients as I work 10-8pm!

Aug. 27 2009 11:25 AM
Richard Johnston from Upper West Side

This is not very interesting.

Aug. 27 2009 11:24 AM
Heather from brooklyn

As a bartender, I work 11 hour shifts in three days. I need those other days to recharge myself, run errands and feed my brain. Not to mention,I love having my "weekend" be Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday when the rest of the city is working. I know I am so much more productive on those days than I would be on Saturday and Sunday.

Aug. 27 2009 11:24 AM
Bill from UWS

My radical suggestion: An eight day week, with the option to work 4 days/10 hrs 5 days/8 hrs or 6 days/7 hrs. More flexibility, most a three or four day weekend.

Who says the week has to be 7 days?

Aug. 27 2009 11:24 AM
John Steinmetz from NYC

I actually proposed a 10-hour day, 4 day-week, in a contract negotiation to the management of the three Television Networks, a score of years ago.

Our Negotiating Team noted to them the savings: 1 saved lunch hour per employee, per week. 2 overtime hours per day, per employee. At the end of the first year, it would have benefited the companies huge savings.

Our union members liked the idea.

Management turned it down. (We assumed, because it was not THEIR idea.)

John Steinmetz
Directors Guild of America

Aug. 27 2009 11:23 AM
Gregory Garvin from Manhattan

I previously worked for the federal government in Washington, DC. I use to work 4 (10 hour days) and sometimes was able to work from home. I had a better quality of life and was much more focused on getting things accomplished.

I now own my own business where I try to implement this type of practice. What makes it work is some people take Monday's others take Friday's. There should always be someone on your team that you work with that can be contacted when you are out. This adds extra reliance on teamwork.

Commuting discounts were also reimbursed through group carpooling. This also ensures that people leave in a timely manner.

Aug. 27 2009 11:23 AM
Dennis from Englewood

Many people who work 4 days a week will get a 2nd job in the other 3 days. They become more tired and less productive for their regular job.

Aug. 27 2009 11:19 AM
Joy from Manhattan

I would love it. I'm an architect and already do 10 hour days. The extra day off would help tremendously. It's about quality of life in the modern age.
My partner was given one less day to work to cut costs at her work (art conservator) after the downturn, and she loves it. She does not want to ever go back to the 5 day work week.

Aug. 27 2009 11:17 AM
allison from brooklyn

I used to work in an artist's studio where we were given the option of 10 hours days. Since we were paid hourly, I much preferred working my hours in fewer days, and having more days to myself to pursue my own artistic output. I found that I painted more efficiently in the 10 hour days on the job. I also suffered less job burnout working fewer days per week. It was an ideal for me.

Aug. 27 2009 11:16 AM
Michele from Belmar, NJ

I LOVE this idea! I used to work four 9-hour days & then one 4-hour day, which was great, but a bit of a tease. Now I'm a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom & I would LOVE to have my husband home an extra day. We could do more fun things together, take long weekends, he could take part in our school day, heck, I might even get a little time off myself once in a while! Never thought I'd say this, but nice work Utah!

Aug. 27 2009 11:15 AM
shari Mendelson from time warner, ny

I work a 3 day a week, 8 hour a day job and I love it. When I come to work I am not burned out, and my out-of-work life is full of making art, gardening, living. Life is too short to spend it all in a cubicle.

Aug. 27 2009 11:15 AM
Thomas

This is perfect and must be enacted immediately. With the exception of services such as police, fire and medical, this should be implemented across the board. I've been pushing for this in the restaurant and service industries forever...staying open longer does not mean more customer traffic, it means more overhead--traffic stays the same no matter what the hours, if people need a service they will find a way to get it.

Aug. 27 2009 11:14 AM
Yourgo from Astoria

I think its a great idea. 3 day weekends all the time. sounds good to me.
I also find longer days at work are alot more productive because you get in a groove and maintain it for a longer period.
Bring it to NY.

Aug. 27 2009 11:14 AM
T. Spencer from Manhattan

As a university professor, I work four long days--writing in the mornings and afternoons, teaching at night. So long as you have the will power to truly take that fifth day off (and not be a workaholic) and the power to focus and write on the on days--it's a great way to balance the work week.

Aug. 27 2009 11:13 AM
Erik from NYC

In my current job, I could squeeze a week's worth of work into 4 days but I can see it might not be practical for everyone (as per Caitlin).

I think there should be a program in place where a tax benefit could be given to companies who allow workers to work one day a week from home. Wouldn't that cut down on traffic by 20%?

Aug. 27 2009 11:13 AM
ben

A few extra hours on the other 4 days is well worth not having to spend all the time commuting to and from work. This would also allow people to keep themselves better informed of current events, politics etc, and allow us all to spend a little more time being civic minded.

Aug. 27 2009 11:12 AM
NKH from harlem

i don't like this. it's still the same amount of work so what's the benefit. workers need less hours at work and more leisure not just have their hours rearranged.

what would be amazing is a 4 HOUR work week. let machines and computers do most of the work to allow people more leisure.

Aug. 27 2009 11:11 AM
Caitlin from Jersey City

Squishing your work into four days is fine and dandy if you're only working 40 hours. But don't a good deal of New Yorkers work considerably more than that? (I know I sure do.) Pulling four 12-hour work days in a row just wouldn't be worth it for a three-day weekend, in my opinion.

Aug. 27 2009 11:08 AM
doreendub from Queens

I wokr in IT and am on a 4 day week here in NY and I love it. I think in fifty years we will (hopefully) look back and be incredulous that we thought it was ok to work 40 hours to make our living :) Most people have lots of other 'work' they can take care of in that day - taking care of their kids, home, taking classes, exercising, volunteering etc. If it was mandated in some areas and then became the norm, I think people would be a lot healthier mentally, kids would have more parental time and there would be less unemployment because it would instantly create more job openings for people to cover that extra day. In these times, it is no longer enough to have one career /job skill and pursue that for life. A day off can be used to develop other skills so that when there is a recession or lay offs due to technology etc., most people will have some other skill that they have cultivated in that off day, to fall back on.

Aug. 27 2009 10:43 AM
Tony from San Jose, CA

Humm, 40 hours a week is not enough. How about having people work 10 hours a day, 5 days a week for the same pay and fire 20% of the staff?

Aug. 27 2009 10:11 AM

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