If you feel like the typical 9-5, Monday-Friday workweek is dragging you down and actually preventing productivity, it turns out you may be right.
David Spencer, Professor of Economics and Political Economy at the University of Leeds in Leeds, England, says a shorter workweek would not only help your sleep schedule, you would actually get more done.
Spencer criticizes the cutthroat and demanding nature of the modern work environment, saying we are conditioned to accept the status quo, but that our lives, happiness, and productivity are all being affected.
A recent study published in the British medical journal claims that working more than 55 hours a week have a 33 percent higher risk of stroke and 13 percent higher risk of heart complications compared to individuals that work 35 to 40 hours a week.
So basically, working those long, unproductive, boring hours is really unhealthy for you.
Spencer is aware that this all seems well and good to employees who want to go to the beach on Fridays, but for business owners it probably sounds slightly unorthodox, perhaps even ridiculous. In his article, Spencer is quick to point out the costs longer work weeks have for employers:
“The costs of long work hours, as mentioned above, are poorer health and lower well-being for workers. But for employers too there are costs in terms of lower productivity and lower profitability. Yet these costs seem to go unnoticed despite evidence pointing to their existence. Here again politics may explain why shorter work time has not been embraced by many employers.”
Now, Spencer does get into some slightly conspiratorial stuff here regarding the wealthy class needing to keep poorer individuals at work, but the basis of that argument may just be true. Businesses have more to gain the more their employees are ‘under their control’ and it appears most companies do not see the incentive to shortening the work week.
However, some businesses are seeing the possible benefits. Uniqlo, a Japanese clothing retailer, recently offered their employees four day workweeks. Spencer seems to think this is a step in a positive direction.
The real issue is not really how many days a week someone works, but making work a positive thing in your life. This will reduce stress and boredom, and even improve your physical health. It’s 2016, there’s no reason we should be confined to the work schedule they were using at the beginning of the 20th century.
It’s important to find different ways to work. Sitting at the computer isn’t good for you, and it may even be deadly.
Back away from the computer and go on a walk with your loved ones, it’s the best thing you can do for your physical and emotional health.