My proposal is to change the 5 day “work week” to a 4.5 day work week. A full week could still be 40 hours long. Let’s shift the norm of 9-5 to 8:30–5:30. Friday’s work hours will be 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. Benefits will be felt by employees, employers, and the economy. An extra half hour before lunch and an extra half hour after lunch seem pretty manageable with half day Fridays as the return.  Adults need more time for fun. This will eliminate the 5 day per week routine that seems to drown the sounds of fun as people get older.

Many peers have defined Bucknell work ethic/culture as “work hard, play hard”. This spring I had Thursdays and Fridays free of obligations. I realized that this actually made the “word days” in my week far more productive. I was more consistently motivated and I worked harder Monday through Thursday than previous semesters. My lengthy weekends helped me to feel the separation of work and play. I believe the same effects would be seen in the workplace.

Half day Friday’s would free up a ton of time in people’s lives. They could be used as an errand day to deal with groceries, dry cleaning, and doctor appointments. They could be used as a travel day for the new long weekend. Rather than reaching the beach at 8 on Friday night, you could get there at 3 and feel like you had a whole extra day. They could be used as golf days. It could be used as a day to work on hobbies or new business ideas. Freeing up Friday’s will boost employee morale across the country. Higher morale will create a more motivated, more efficient, more productive worker.

Most of us will likely be working more than 40 hours per week next year. The same idea could still apply. It would make the grind of Monday – Thursday much more manageable. With the 4.5 day work week, the old “work hard, play hard” would become “work harder, play harder”.  

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6 responses »

  1. KCasty says:

    Great idea, Carson. When I was working full time in Philadelphia this past summer, we had “summer Fridays” at the law firm, meaning that we got to leave at 2 instead of 5. It was such a treat to be able to catch an early train home every Friday that I definitely worked harder to get all of my assignments done before then, so nothing jeopardized it!

  2. Cheryl says:

    I like the idea! I had a pretty awesome semester in London last fall when I had classes until 5pm from Monday till Thursday, but no class on Friday, which made my weekends feel like a typical Fall break at Bucknell. Classes were longer during weekdays, but I felt like I worked more efficiently, since I always wanted to get everything done before the “rewarding” long weekends. It was definitely much less stressful than the schedule at Bucknell!

  3. brookeparker16 says:

    I have always grown up with the motto “work hard, play hard” and so i completely agree with this idea. Also I find that I do better when I am busier because I use my time more efficiently.

  4. scoutberger says:

    For the past three summers I have worked in New York City and did the 9-5 work day regime. The problem with this is the fact that by the time Friday night roles around I am not only completely exhausted but I have no time to do my necessary errands. Many doctors aren’t available on the weekends which makes scheduling appointments next to impossible. Furthermore, even if you can do necessary errands on Saturdays or Sundays, these are the days you want for yourself and to be able to enjoy. No one wants to race around running errands on the weekend. I once read in an article how certain offices have a “nap room” for employees to go during the day when they start to doze off. They said this significantly improved the morale and efficiency of the company. I feel like a 4.5 week would have similar effects. People would work just as many hours but they would be more motivated.

  5. Tomas Smaliorius says:

    Really like this idea a lot, and much like Scout pointed out by the time Friday night roles around the 40 hour week hits you like a train. When I worked in D.C. this summer, one week I was given the opportunity to do a 40 hour week from Monday to Thursday and it actually worked fine. The biggest thing that I noticed was that I was able to avoid the D.C. Beltway traffic because I would be up before everyone and then last one to leave. It worked pretty well, but I guess things wouldn’t change if everyone was trying to implement this idea simultaneously.

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