Because this is a four-day work week for many Americans, it seemed timely to reflect on this suggestion by a business school professor in the UK:
"[T]o achieve a more ecologically sustainable economy, changing minds will not be enough, we need to change behaviours. Small tweaks such as not using plastic straws or minimising food waste will make some difference. But if we hope to make real progress, we need to make bigger alterations in what we do. One behaviour change that will have a positive impact on the environment is a four-day working week. According to a cluster of recent studies, working less is good for the environment. One analysis found that if we spent 10% less time working, our carbon footprint would be reduced by 14.6%. If we cut the hours we work by 25% – or a day and a quarter each week – our carbon footprint would decline by 36.6%. Another study found that if people in the US (who work notoriously long hours) worked similar hours to Europeans (who work much less), then they would consume about 20% less energy. ... By working less, we produce fewer goods and services that require precious resources to make. We also consume less in the process of getting our job done. Less work means less carbon-intensive commuting, less energy-sucking office space, and less time on power-hungry computer systems. In addition, working less would help to break down the work-spend cycle. Fewer hours at work mean we ... are also less likely to rely on environmentally costly timesavers such as high-speed travel or takeaway food delivered in plastic containers by someone riding a motorbike. ... [L]ess time spent at work would also help to deal with other problems such as making work more accessible for women, reducing inequalities between overworked and underworked and making organisations more productive."
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