How Would a 24 Hour Work Week Impact our Society?
People tend to think that a shorter work week would be great, but are there negatives to a 24 hour work week as well?
Implementing shorter work weeks has been a topic of discussion a lot lately. There are even some companies, such as Amazon, who have already started testing out the shorter work weeks. But would a 24 hour work week be a good thing?
I think there are good arguments on both sides, but here is my opinion. I believe that the issue isn’t so much about the shorter hours, it’s about the difference in pay. In today’s society a majority of people work 40 or more hours a week. If we were to cut that down to 24 hours a week, people would not make as much money. If employers only pay employees for 24 hours a week, it would create major issues. People would get half of their normal pay, but they would still have to pay the same living costs such as mortgage, groceries, childcare, utilities, etc…
Because people would still need to make a living, I believe a lot of people would turn to side jobs such as Uber or Etsy to make up for the money they are losing in a shorter week. In the end they would most likely end up working 40+ hours a week anyways. This could also create a big income gap between the people sticking with the 24 hour work week and those who are working other jobs on the side.
So the issue is not about the amount of hours that are cut down, but about how much we get paid. If employers could pay their employees their full time pay while cutting the work hours in half, then that would be an interesting solution and one that I think could work.
Another thing that I have seen some companies delve into is flexible work. To be honest, at this point in time I don’t think that we are anywhere near where I thought we would be in the way of flexible work. With truly flexible work an employer would hire someone to do a certain job and the employee would get paid the same amount no matter when the job is done, how long it takes to get the job done, or where the employee works from. I think flexible work is a great way to deal with burnout, employee engagement and employee experience. I think this could be another potential solution we may see going forward.
What do you think would happen if we implemented a 24 hour work week? Use #AskTheFuturist on Twitter to share your thoughts. You can also use the hashtag to ask me a question for a future episode.
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Jacob Morgan is a keynote speaker, author, and futurist. You can invite Jacob to keynote your next conference, subscribe to his videos on Youtube, check our his podcast, or subscribe to his newsletter!