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3-day (24-hour) work week and 4-day weekend to reflect productivity and to increase productivity, creativity and human happiness.

It's been a long time since the labor unions caused employers to switch from grossly excessive hours of work to the 40-hour work week standard. It's time for another leap. A 24-hour work week would reflect the past changes in productivity and cause greater improvements in productivity, creativity and human happiness and well-being. During the 4-day weekend, people would increase consumption, thereby helping the economy, and productivity and creativity would increase as human beings get to retain more of their own lives to live in their own way. The wages/salaries should remain the same as they are for the 40-hour work week or increase.

  • Mar 25 2012: Great idea I believe there should be an agency that protects and negotiates for the non unionized employees. A third party to keep large corporations that generate huge profits and huge pays for their senior leadership teams from taking advantage of their employees. People are continually being asked to do more and more with no further support and increasingly more mistakes are made, less productivity and less efficient organizations. The only winners are the CEO's making huge salaries and bonuses. Employees as well as clients Reap the results and are left behind. The idea you are suggesting is something that could be worked on. The only problem I see is that I you work a 24 hour week your pay is significantly less so as far as consumption maybe not but I do see thy it would get more people into the workforce so from that perspective more consumption.
    • Mar 25 2012: I did not mean to imply that salaries or wages decrease. Salaries and wages should remain the same as they are for the 40-hour work week or increase.
  • Apr 7 2012: No I agree, I do work I enjoy, have very few financial or other commitments, and complete and utter flexibility, because of what you say, while still experiencing some angst as is the course of human life. But we need to focus dialogues on the real, and logically work through red herrings that need to be jettisoned for raising the value of the dialogue. The CEO salary issue is a red herring, either of the companies mentioned contribute far more to pension and/or welfare funds in a single day, far more, than to CEO salaries in a year, let alone daily payrolls, so....

    It would be great to have flexible schedules, even lessor hours each week, but why equal or better pay?
    Not that I am against more pay for the average person, but we need real solutions to real and growing problems. Not intellectual diversions, like those given to us from the creative elements in the popular media that serve nothing but the ratings and advertising revenue generation streams of the purveyors of such claptrap.

    We need real solutions and real dialogues. That WILL require perhaps SACRIFICES by all for the betterment of many peoples children. I have no children, but understand that for other peoples CHILDREN, there might need be sacrifices in my present for other peoples futures. Problem is people are oft unwilling to give up their perceived ground, when things like CEO salary are such sexy diversions, easy to grab on to, easy to relieve angst upon, but of no value toward reviewing the issues under questions.

    Shorter work weeks, more employment, more skill sharing, and yes, even less salaries, which would free people up to make crafts, play instruments, get another job, which might be refreshing, study, volunteer and so many other things of value in a life.

    It's like education, people have kids & want to pretend that others, teachers, or the government are responsible for their education. No, your choice your responsibility. Anyway, I agree largely toward your perspective.
  • Mar 28 2012: The scenario can work if the salary ratios of CEO's to employees was not so off side. I am sure the extra money would be found. As well if prices increased to somewhat compensate, people would maybe think twice about their purchases. Maybe we could go back to producing products that last longer and people would be willing to pay a bit more. We live in a throw away society where consumption has become an epidemic. Enjoying the simpler things in life instead of the type of car we drive and how many TV's we have are more fulfilling. Consumption only makes us happy for a short period of time. I see many people who get trapped financially because they are constantly chasing happiness with needless consumption.
    • Mar 28 2012: Lillian, I am very grateful for your input to this conversation. You seem to appreciate the idea and it's ramifications. Glad to know you and perhaps others want people to be able to use their own lifetimes in their own way while living at a humane standard with dignity and sufficient freedom to be who they really are and to make and create and co-create goods and services that they value and that will be of great value to others, enrichening society in infinite ways. Onward to implementation. .
      • Mar 28 2012: I am a manager of people and find it difficult at times to deliver the messages that come down the pipe. I am very disillusioned with how employees are treated and taken advantage of and how employees are afraid to say anything because they fear for their jobs. I believe that it is time to be free from the chains of those large corporations and padding the pockets of their CEO's. The people who do all the work and make money for these corporations need to be compensated fairly and have time to spend with their families and become the people they were meant to be. So how do we implement such a strategy. I believe the whole world is crying out for change. Things don't seem to be working right anymore so we cannot continue to do the same thing. The credit crisis in the US and Europe are prime examples of our broken system. I am all for all people living in humanely and with dignity this is something I am very passionate about.
        • Mar 31 2012: Lillian, Seems as though we are in complete agreement on this issue. I'm thinking that along with the 24-hour/3-day work week, a $30.00-per-hour minimum wage makes sense. I think this would create greater prosperity and well-being for everyone including the 1% who are not probably very happy since they live in fear of all sorts of things and people. Yup, we are on the right track. Now we must come up with a means of translating our plan into action. Let's see. Words are powerful. We could write letters to editors, Senators and Congresspeople, the President, labor unions. Perhaps we can start a petition. I heard something about, if you get one million signatures on a petition, the matter has to come up for a vote. I feel confident that this plan would work to elevate the well-being of everyone, so I think we should be able to accomplish it. Let's come up with some practical plans. Maybe some ted.com people know how to do stuff like that.....translate ideas into action. Anything positive is possible.
      • Mar 31 2012: I think that maybe a petition might be a way to start because that would show the amount of people that feel the same way. Once that information is gathered we would have the necessary information to proceed from there to governments, labour unions etc. I believe that this needs to be a global issue for all economies to thrive. I believe that it would put all on a more level playing field. For example goods are produced in China and India very cheaply because of the low cost of labour. If all things were equalized we wouldn't have to be competing with other countries for products and services. Maybe we could all focus on what we do best and share with eachother rather than compete.
  • Apr 7 2012: Lillian:

    I as well believe the salaries of CEO's are out of whack, but this assertion is a media edutainment falsity. It is repeated and people repeat it and believe it. Simple division proves it wrong. Divide the salary of a CEO by the number of employees in a company and see if what is said is true.....for example

    GE CEO salary in 2007 14 million......GE 300,000 employees.....14 million divided by 300,000 = 43 dollars....43 dollars wouldn't change they lives of just about anyone anywhere.....

    Same number for the CEO of Ford, and similar results for other CEO's.

    While neither happy for nor jealous of a CEO's salary, to subsume the very real needs for alteration of economic models, or to enhance standards of living, to a faulty construction that leads to inter class intellectual quagmires while ignoring more pressing matters is highly detrimental to the real needs for change that exist more broadly, and systemically in society. These will be made, and the least important of these are CEO salaries, although they are sexy diversions that bind the minds of men from more pressing matters.
    • Apr 7 2012: You need to start somewhere and I believe that even though the dollars and cents may not make a huge difference in peopke's lives the value for the work people do would be recognized. I do not believe in the disparity of wages, nor the huge advantage being taken of workers with the expectations of a job to the detriment of family life and personal well being. There needs to be more of a balance in life, people cannot be robbed of the simple enjoyment of life and that is what is happening. So maybe it looks like hiring more people to get the job done in order for all to enjoy their life. It is I believe a basic human right and our responsibility to our children to provide them with those basics, it is not all about money. Poverty comes in all forms.
  • Mar 31 2012: Lillian, GO, LILLIAN, GO! I look forward to the day when men and women share power equally throughout the world. Then we shall live rationally, peacefully, healthfully, prosperously, happily ever after. Right on!
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    Mar 26 2012: I am a outside of the box kinda guy. So let me look at this idea sideways. 24 hour week @ $15 per hour = $1440 per month before taxes etc ... Car payment $500 per month, rent 800 per month, food $800 per month, utilities 400 per month, gas $300 per month, clothing and upkeep $300 month, insurance $200 per month, etc ... I bet you get the picture. Soooo lets see all of these are certainly low but what is the monthly income and the expenses. Income $1400 Expenses $2500. Even at $20 per hour you would only make $1920 before taxes etc ... Don't look good. If we have trouble making supply meet demand with a five day week it would only get worse with a three day week. Human happiness sucks on both ends. Sorry cannot support your idea. All the best. Bob
    • Mar 26 2012: Robert, Thank you for your arithmetic. Don't know what made you decide $15.00 was the correct hourly wage. What do you think the correct bonus amount is for CEOs such as those who work for ExxonMobil, GE, Goldman-Sachs? Do you want to keep the working class at subsistence wages in order to maximize the money income of the top 1%? Human happiness and equity in the market place are doable simultaneously. Maybe you need to get a bit further out of your box. Anything positive is possible.
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        Mar 27 2012: Wow. You made a giant leap there. Didn't see the exec or the OWS indicators in your question. I did not know I was playing stump the dummy with changing rules and hidden agendas. I do not play those games. I withdraw. Bob
        • Mar 28 2012: I am not playing any games. I do not know what "leap" you are referring to. I am serious about this and I want the 3-day/24-hour work week instituted immediately or as soon as possible. Equity demands it. Consider the curve of money income to various income groups of the employed part of the population over the last couple of decades. It was the high-paid executives of GM who made the colossal mistake of not producing small, well-made, economy cars in the 1950s and 1960s that undermined the auto industry of the USA. It was not the workers who did the damage. Let's be fair about money compensation. Revenues and profits are not currently being fairly distributed. What do you suggest be done about that?
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    Mar 25 2012: Moving from 40 hours to 24 hours would cut work time by 60% per individual. An immediate consequence is that employees would only receive 60% of their current pay. It's hard to imagine workers being in favor of 60% pay. If increasing the hourly wage so that weekly pay is maintained, the hourly pay would need to increase by 67%. In order to maintain standard hours of operation, employers would be left to increase payroll by 67% - another one that's hard to imagine.
    • Mar 25 2012: I made no statement about decreasing pay. Pay should remain the same as the 40-hour work week or increase. It is time that those who create the value in society were fairly rewarded for their work and allowed to have time to live and create according to their own values.
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        Mar 26 2012: As I said, if you want to maintain the current weekly pay, then payroll increases by a factor of 1.67. Increase payroll and the prices will soon follow suit. You now have workers receiving the same pay but paying higher prices, i.e. a higher cost of living.

        Are the extra days off worth the increased cost of living? It's more time to live but less money to live on.
        • Mar 26 2012: Who says prices would increase? Would that be the Board of Directors and CEO of ExxonMobil who would be calling for price increases, for example?
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        Mar 26 2012: payroll-to-profit ratio = (gross payroll) / (gross profit)

        There are ideal ranges for the payroll-to-profit ratio. Increase payroll by 67% and the same increase is seen in the ratio, i.e. 30% of profit allocated to payroll would become 50%.

        There are different type of ratios involving payroll, but regardless of comparing payroll to revenue, profit, etc., the ratio will increase by 67% if nothing is done to compensate in sales. For businesses already running at a borderline ratio, a 67% payroll increase would kill the business without a significant increase in revenue/profit. How do you suggest increasing revenue/profit AND payroll without increasing prices?

        In general, whether it be ExxonMobil with huge profit numbers or a mom-and-pop grocery store in Podunk, Texas, how do you suggest that payroll increase by 67% and prices be maintained? That is outside of what I know.
        • Mar 26 2012: Higher productivity. Are you under the impression that corporate profits are distributed equitably among those who cause those profits to exist?
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        Mar 27 2012: I agree with higher productivity. and I am not under said impression.
        • Mar 28 2012: Good. Now let's get this implemented as soon as possible.