I personally love the idea. Sometimes policies have to be spelt out and enforced for society to take them up, look at the smoking ban. Surely if we are a nation of exhausted and stressed out workers, being forced to take an extra day off every week has the potential to have massive benefits for our health.
The green party’s initial statement draws on the arguments that the three day weekend will combat wasted productivity and absenteeism that is rife across the UK’s workplaces. It’s a good point; everyone knows the feeling of being tied to an office during certain hours even though you could get the work done in half the time if properly incentivised. You stretch out your work to fill the time rather than vice versa.
In my very first job I was told to ‘look busy’. This was probably the best advice I’ve ever been given to finding my way in the world of work. Look busy, look important, make yourself indispensable…These ideas have become so engrained that most workers I know believe they are all these things too. My line manager voluntarily works at the weekend and gives up her annual leave because she is just ‘so busy’. I want to tell her that if she didn’t do this extra work the world would go on just fine, but to say something like this is almost insulting, as if I undervalue the importance of her work. In fact the opposite is true, I have such respect for her and I don’t want to see her unhappy.
It’s this mentality that drove the almost immediate sinking feeling in my stomach when this article first caught my eye. It is hard to believe that the three day weekend will happen, anytime soon at least. After all the progress we’ve made as a society in technological innovation and automation, it’s still being described as a ‘radical idea’.
But if the anecdotal evidence is anything to go by, we need to be forced to put our feet up.