Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
Can taking time off make us more productive? Is Sweden a magical place with all the answers? Clearly, yes. And, it looks like some bosses right here in the good ol' USA might be taking notes from the original purveyor of less in-office time by capping the workweek at four days.
According to Salon, several tech companies, like Slingshot and Treehouse, are taking the initiative, and for good reason. Beyond being great for morale — it'll sure make Hump Day less dreadful — a four-day workweek could increase productivity and prevent burnout, especially in high-stress and creative fields.
37Signals CEO Jason Fried wrote an op-ed in The New York Times blasting the traditional work schedule for obvious reasons: "Better work gets done in four days than in five," Fried wrote. "When there's less time to work, you waste less time. When you have a compressed workweek, you tend to focus on what's important. Constraining time encourages quality time." Makes sense, right?
But, before you perk your ears up too fast, Salon reports that the concept was introduced in the 1950s, and it's trickling down at a glacial pace, as Miranda Priestly might say. And, a report published in the Journal of Happiness Studies (yep — seriously) says there's no definitive proof that a shorter workweek can increase wellbeing, even if employees are happier about the four-day rule.
Decor tips, career advice, inspired design — get it all on our Refinery29 Living Facebook Page!