The 3-day week is going mainstream

Working Practices

Read this article and then take the rest of the week off. And be better off.

The concept of a 9 to 5, 5 days a week is as outmoded as the industrial revolution that brought it about.

Working practices have changed dramatically over the last decade and it’s now not unusual for folks to work at home and no more than 4 days a week. We adopted shorter working weeks some years ago and since 1996 have embraced “always on homeworking” which had no hour restrictions.

We’re lucky, we’re a digital agency that can chose how much work we take on and at what pace. But most organisations can do the same, it’s not something unique to, for example, a London-based WordPress agency. You’d struggle to find an organisation that couldn’t adapt and change it’s working hours.

Even productionised jobs, those that require workers to hammer through fixed tasks within a tight budget could benefit from moving to a 3-day week. Carlos Slim famously advocates working 11 hrs a day for 3 days and having 4 days off.

The drive for a shorter week is not just about increasing leisure (consumption) time, not is it been driven by governments who still think you should work a maximum number of hours until you’re 67 and then stop entirely. No, the new working world is being driven by Millennials with their desire for happiness over cash and the massive increase in freelance and zero-hours contracts.

In an “always on” world we can work anywhere with an impressive 93% working from home at times and 75% working when on the move. Whilst signalling the end of the traditional office (and traditional business practices), it’s not going to descend into a melee of anarchy, sickness, skiving and cheating. Yes, cheater will cheat (and get caught) and the Daily Mail will write articles about the end of civilisation.

In the meantime, the rest of the world will be working fewer hours, fewer days, later into life and enjoying the whole work-thing a great deal more.