As the movement to decrease the workweek becomes more popular around the world, we should ask if this can mean something more than a rearrangement of the existing burden of toil and stress. Cramming forty hours of work into four days holds little appeal for workers who will be more prone to accidents and have to put in painfully long shifts that would have once been compensated as overtime. A clear solution would be to decrease the working week to thirty-two hours and set maximum overtime at eight hours per week. Based on previous examples, this would make workers happier, give them more free time, and allow them to escape their boss’s control a little bit more.
Jessica Smith is a socialist and a feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.