Why you need a 3-day weekend

This post is adapted from an article I found via the Think Productive website that I thought was worth reposting for our community during our Work smarter not harder month…

Five days a week or 40 hours is the standard for full-time employment. Working 50 to 70 hours isn’t unheard of though. Are the extra hours worth it?

We’re over worked, and it’s dangerous to our health

Too much work causes:

  • 33% increased risk of stroke
  • 13% increase in heart problems
  • 112% increased risk in acquiring Type 2 Diabetes
  • 2X double the chances of suffering from depression and anxiety problems

In Japan there’s even a word for death by over work…

And for what?

The extra time you spend working isn’t always productive. Multiple experiments show that people can only do up to five hours of concentrated, meaningful work. The rest of the time is just wasted on:

  • Emails: The average employee checks his inbox 36 times an hour.
  • Meetings: Employees waste 31 hours in unproductive meetings a month — time better spent elsewhere because attendees usually:
  • 39% sleep
  • 47% complained
  • 91% daydreamed

Believe it or not, adding a day off is good for companies

Here are companies that are thriving, despite the extra day off.

Treehouse employees are happier and more productive since their CEO implemented a 32-hour workweek in 2006. The $3 million yearly revenue and $4.75 million funding they raised after enjoying their new schedule is a sweet bonus.

KFC Japan
KFC Japan rolled out a 3-day off initiative to fight labor shortage and retain more employees, especially stay at home moms. They quickly convinced more than 20 moms to return to work after implementing the program.

Basecamp (37Signals)
CEO Jason Fried said, “Better work gets done in four days than in five.” Basecamp employees are more focused and creative because of the compressed workweek.

At these companies employees aren’t rewarded for the time they put in but for the outcomes they produce.

Weekends are for recovery

Particularly if you have a family the weekend can get crammed with activity and there’s no time to really stop. With a 3 day weekend Thursday becomes the new Friday and Friday can be set aside for “household chores” or “life maintenance”, leaving two full days of uninterrupted rest.

When we’re rested we become more creative and when we’re more creative we can be more impactful. Less is more and so long live the 3 day weekend!

If you’d like to hear about how the 4 day week is working in a real life company then join me for the next HSS webinar with Elena Kerrigan from Think Productive. They’ve been doing it for over 7 years now.