It's Friday again—the one day of the week when dressing down is an act of solidarity and leisurely lunch breaks are encouraged as we all get in gear for the weekend. But, did you know that weekends are a relatively recent development, 140 years old at most? Which begs the question: who says we have to work on Friday at all? Unbelievably, this isn't a rhetorical question anymore, and Sarah Rich, editor at Dwell Magazine, explores this idea in her Hack2Work contribution, Consider the 4-Day Workweek. An excerpt:
When I was in first grade, the highlight of each week was Free-day Friday—a span of seven glorious hours when we got to choose whether to assemble tangrams, read Frog and Toad, or play tunnel tag. It was a simple redesign of the standard week but the benefits were far-reaching. As a tool for easing the daily grind, it's a hack we could learn from.
Among professional adults, engaging in leisure activities on a workday is called "playing hooky." Unless you are employed by the state of Utah. Just over a year ago, Utah launched an experiment, changing the government employee work schedule from five days per week to four, and increasing daily hours to ten. With a full 12-month cycle behind them, analysts were able to draw conclusions about how this system affected people, the planet, and the state's budget (also known as the triple bottom line), and it turns out that Free-day Friday is a win-win-win for grown-ups too.