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Work+Life “Fit,” Not Balance

Caution: Four-Day Workweek is AN Answer, Not THE Answer|
posted by Cali Yost for FastCompany.com

Everyday there’s another story extolling the virtues of the four-day workweek, or four, ten-hour days, as the answer to our energy problems. In fact, last week CNN devoted an entire segment to the Utah state government’s mandatory four-day workweek which began August 4th. Before the four-day workweek gains more steam as the answer, I want to urge caution. It is an answer, but not the answer.

The distinction is subtle but very important.

The typical problems with one-size-fits-all, four-day workweeks are already starting to crop up (see USA Today and CNN), specifically:
1) Some work probably does have to happen on Fridays
2) It’s very hard for people with dependent care responsibilities
3) It’s very hard for people who have a long commute particularly those who use public transportation.
4) The hours don’t always match when people work best which impacts productivity.
5) Finally, it’s probably not going to have that much of an impact on overall “carbon footprint.”

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I do have to agree with Cali I must say…
Certainly from my experience, it’s not just about a prescribed four-day workweek scenario, but rather the emphasis needs to shift to a “designed” workweek, where all parties are looked after in the arrangement.

And yes, it is doable. I can cite many a working arrangement, where the focus is on “outcomes focussed” results, as opposed to the traditional “hours worked” focus. There is many an entreprenurial mother for example who is designing her life around what needs to work for her and her family… as it should be.

Where does your working life fit in?
What changes would you like to make?

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