Thursday, January 14, 2010

OLD Post - Life/Work Balance

Today's topic: Life-Work Balance
A great source for the history of the ideas behind Life-Work balance can be found at It used to be that the average work week was 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, totaling 84 hours a week. In comparison, our 40 hour work week doesn't compare, esp. if you take into account that the work we do is much less labor intensive, and much safer. As it happens, American workers often end up working 50-70 hour weeks in the more competitive job markets. They do, however, usually end up with a substantial monetary compensation. One could argue that it is better to work 70 hours a week for 20 years than 40 hours a week for 40. The math is in their favor, but if I am not sure the sacrifice is worth it. I think youth is too important to waste on work. However, if I had to create the perfect work week, it would look like this:

The work week would be 3 days long, and you would work 10 hours a day, totally a 30-hour work week. You would get two breaks, one for lunch and one for dinner. It would make most sense, if you were going to be working this much, to either live really close, or to simply have a place at or near work where you could spend the night. This would save on transportation.

If you don't like this 3-day idea, the alternative would be a 4-day, 32-hour work week, where you would basically keep the same system we have now, but cut out a day. I really do believe that a lot of time gets wasted and most employees don't need to be working more than 30 hours a week. Adding in commute time, you shouldn't be spending more than 40 hours a week total.

With a work schedule like this, what would you do with all your free time?

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