Alex Williams, a sociologist at City University, London, explains why having a three day weekend may be the best way to reduce damaging environmental impact.
According to him, a reduction in working hours generally correlates with marked reductions in energy consumption. “With a four-day week, huge amounts of commuting to and from work could be avoided, as well as the energy outputs from running workplaces.”
In 2007, Utah, United States of America, redefined the working week within the state. It extended work hours on Monday to Thursday and added Friday to its weekend. In its first ten months, the idea saved the state at least $1.8 million in energy costs.
Office lighting, air conditioning and less hours running computers was saved because of the few working days. For one day in a week, thousands of commuters were able to stay at home.
The idea, however, was cancelled in 2011, when residents complained they were unable to access services on Fridays.
Scientists say working less would improve the obscure work/life balance, and help to restore our mental health as well as our physical well-being. They observed that it would give us more time to spend on social activities, care for our children and the elderly and also relate with our communities.
In Sweden, it was observed that cutting down on working hours reduced sickness and increased productivity.
Scientists revealed that rather than working long hours for little productivity, we could encourage a shorter working hour and help save our planet and our well-being.
Author of Inventing the Future, Nick Srnicek argued that automaton will soon offer us the hope of a very different world of work. This will bring about a new wave of workplace automation whereby advanced robotics and machine could replace 47 percent of current jobs in the US and 54 percent in Europe.
This means an extended weekend would mean having a reduced working week, better health and helping to fight climate change.