A man widely touted as the second richest in the world, Carlos Slim, has been in the news a lot lately – but not for the usual reasons. His recent comments at a conference in Paraguay promoting a condensed three-day work week have been echoed by the world’s new outlets. Slim’s proposal to increase the workday by two to four hours per day and delay retirement while offering a four-day weekend has ignited the conversation about work-life balance.
Carlos Slim and others have been making the case that having more days off would result in an increase in quality of life, and that isn’t the only purported benefit. Professor John Ashton, president of the UK Faculty of Public Health told the Guardian that “we need a four-day week so that people can enjoy their lives, have more time with their families, and maybe reduce high blood pressure because people might start exercising on that extra day.”
Whether or not a new standard for business hours is adopted internationally people are talking. The freedom to regulate one’s own work schedule is a prized feature of the worlds most coveted jobs. With technology that allows us to work smart, not hard and keep in (too) close contact to ever be out of the office loop, the desire to adapt work hours to best accommodate personal life actually seems reasonable for some professions.
When the question was posed to the CBC online community reader’s relayed their experiences, were optimistic and posed skeptical questions. Does the work schedule norm need reviewing? Would a condensed week leave you burnt out by Wednesday? Perhaps most importantly, would you spend your extra day(s) off lowering your blood pressure? Tell us what you think.