Should We All Be Working a Four Day Week? (Survey)

It's good for the environment and good for families. A British architecture firm goes for 4 and explains why.

Le CorbusierUnknown source/Public Domain

You can learn a lot, looking over the shoulder of a master. On the other hand, you don't have to do it five days a week British architect Irena Bauman explains why she is closing her offices on Friday and piling five days worth of hours into four. She tells BD Online:

We are working’ 5 days in 4’ week because how we live as individuals has consequences for everyone else. The way we live now has created many problems: scarcity of resources, scarcity of jobs, climate change, wealth discrepancies and many wasted lives. These are all escalating problems which are not being addressed by the institutions of power: Governments, Banks, the Multinationals have too many vested interests in the current system to be the agents of change.

Most architects work ten hours a day anyways and often don't get paid for the last two, so it probably won't mean much of a change, other than they will actually get paid for what they do. The real worry is that they will end up working Fridays anyways, what with that inevitable deadline on Monday. But if it works:

The concentrated way of working will encourage us to squeeze out waste such as commuting, unnecessary meetings, (we have already saved, in the first week, 20 man hours in not attending meetings and communicating instead through other means).... As we make ourselves more productive, having an extra day off work will allow us time to form new habits, to actively engage with creation of the civic society which we must create to challenge the consumer society.

Is this a good idea?

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