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Job Development Initiative: Reduced Work Week
To help create more jobs in our country, I propose having everyone leave work each week on Fridays at 12:00 Noon and not return to work until Monday at Noon. (added August 12, 2011).
Let's face it, most of us are mentally thinking about the weekend right about lunch time on Fridays anyway. What kind of meaningful and productive work can we expect after noon on Fridays? Not much. And The Monday Morning blues are notorious for making people cranky and similarly less productive than they might be on Tuesday for example. There is an adage that warns us not to by a car made on a Monday or a Friday. There may be valid arguments against that but who wants to take that chance?
Being able to leave work early on Friday will give people a tremendous emotional lift that will last almost all weak. Adding a half a day on Friday to not having to get back to work until noon on Monday would effectively, if not actually, makes a two-day weekend into a three-day weekend. Who would not be thrilled with a three-day weekend? That’s when most people tell me, “You got my vote.”
You might feel that productivity will be negatively affected by allowing people to take off eight hours a week as is being proposed here. But, it is possible that productivity would actually increase. There would probably be fewer mistakes and workers would be working very hard to keep justifying the new standard so they would not have to return to the old one.
But there is more. The hours would need to be replaced, which would mean hiring other workers. Every five workers would mean forty hours of old worker weeks would need to be made up, which would translate roughly to one new hire for each five current employees. Multiply that by millions of workers and we would be making some fabulous strides towards solving our Nations economic woes.
And now, on November 24, 2011, The New York Times OP-ED Contributor Herbert J. Gans, an emeritus professor of sociology at Columbia, and the author of “Imagining America in 2033.” had his opinion entitled "The of the Superfluous Worker" published on Page A-35. We invite you to read his take on what has happened to increase the number of people who need jobs and some of the ideas he brings forward to made the adjustments that are needed to adapt to the situation so more people can have jobs.
His suggestion that the work weeks be reduced to create more jobs can be seen as a very viable option to consider. It is helpful that his position as a regular contributor to the New York Times Op-Ed page helps popularize the idea. Of course it is an idea that was introduced by Drew Kopf nearly three months earlier right here on this web site, which admittedly does not have anywhere near the impact of The New York Times. But, give credit where credit is due. Though Mr. Kopf does not have the credentials of the advantage of hs relationship with The New York Times that Professor Gans has and enjoys, none the less, Mr. Kopf developed the exact same "reduced work week " concept all on his own nearly three months earlier.