World’s richest man calls for shorter workweek
Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world, thinks we need to rethink work. Mr. Slim is suggesting that the workweek should be no more than three days and that individual workdays should be around 11 hours. He also thinks that instead of retiring in the early to mid-sixties, people should continue working until they are 70 or 75.
"With three workdays a week, we would have more time to relax; for quality of life. Having four days [off] would be very important to generate new entertainment activities and other ways of being occupied," Mr Slim told Paraquay.com, according to a Financial Times’ translation.
Mr. Slim is putting some of his theories to the test at Telmex, a Mexican phone company, where workers who are eligible for retirement can choose to keep working at full pay except in a four-day workweek.
Mr. Slim is not alone in his belief that a shorter workweek would provide some benefits to both employees and employers. According to the Emory University WorkLife Resource Center, there are pros and cons associated with a four-day workweek.
Among the pros are that employees spend less time commuting to work. Plus, staff is more productive during working hours and they have more time to take care of responsibilities outside of the workplace. On the downside, longer workdays pose mental and physical challenges to employees; managers need to adjust schedules to supervise employees; and staff may face challenges arranging dependent care at home.
- Carlos Slim calls for a three-day working week – Financial Times (tiered sub.)
- Carlos Slim says three-day work week should be standard. Could it work? – The Christian Science Monitor
- Pros and Cons of Compressed Workweeks – Emory University Worklife Resource
Would shorter workweeks prove more positive or negative for U.S. businesses? Would the approach work best at retail headquarters, distribution centers or stores?