Going to work is something the majority of the world takes as normal. 5 days per week, 8 hours per day, all desperately waiting for the weekend. And when monday comes it’s the same old story over, and over, and over again. Like a timeloop.
But work is not natural. It’s not something that exists in Nature independent from humanity. In fact, we are the only species on the entire planet that have jobs. We have invented work. And that’s ok. But, since we invented it, can we make it better?
Scientists say we need to tweak the way we work just a little bit in order to be healthier, more productive and feel happier about what we do, instead of looking it as a torture.
Multiple experiments done by K. Anders Ericsson, one of the top experts on the psychology of work, have shown that people can only do 4 or 5 hours of productive work per day. After their performance reaches its highest point, output tends to stall, and people suffer at work.
In other words, most people can stay focused on work no more than 5 hours per day. Staying more than 5 hours is most of the time, simply pointless.
Ryan Carson, CEO of Treehouse, implemented a 32-hour work week in 2006. Ever since, his employees have become happier and more productive.
According to Carson, the company is very successful today, its annual revenue is estimated in the millions of dollars, and employees are happy to come to work each day.
Reusser Design, a full-scale web development company switched to a four-day work week back in 2013.
Company founder Nate Reusser says, “Even if employees work overtime on Fridays, their performance is much higher. You have no idea how people hustle to finish projects before they go on vacation.”
Managers who shortened the work week got more significant returns on their investment in terms of output, worker retention, and their personal and professional happiness.
But this simple tweak works even in schools. As an experiment, the four-day school week was also introduced for 4th and 5th graders in Colorado.
As it turned out, the reading and math results of students who studied for just four days a week went up by 6% and 12% accordingly compared to kids who attended for all five.
The findings of this research suggest that even a simple redistribution of work time can have enormous benefits for employees and companies.
This solution not only reduced the costs for heating, cooling, and powering the buildings but also produced increased worker morale.
People enjoyed the extra day off and were satisfied with the change since they were no longer slogging through rush-hour traffic.