A 4-day workweek: yay or nay?
Chatting with my hairdresser Lisa recently, I found out that she works only three days a week, but from 9AM to 9PM each day. I was absolutely amazed!
Watching her during my five-hour hair coloring session (don't judge, it was my first post-lockdown beauty visit!), I know she's genuinely happy with her intimidating schedule, managing multiple customers and requests effortlessly. And she loves her 4-day weekends.
Non-standard working schedules like this are increasingly common. The most popular arrangement is the 4-day workweek, which has existed as an idea for over 80 years. However, more companies are actually adopting or considering it these days, often prompted by the Covid-burnout many of us are experiencing.
The October newsletter takes a closer look at the 4-day workweek, along with ways to improve your mental health, secrets to a fulfilled life, and ScreenCloud's first virtual event, Reboot. Let's get started!
“It is naively assumed that the fact that the majority of people share certain ideas and feelings proves the validity of these ideas and feelings. Nothing could be further from the truth. Consensual validation as such has no bearing on reason or mental health.”
Historically governments have entertained the notion of a shorter workweek for one economic reason: saving jobs. With Covid-19 forcing us to rapidly change our working patterns, resulting in severe burnout, stress, and depression, more companies, including Buffer, are embracing what was often faced with skepticism and ridicule: a 4-day workweek. This Wired article goes into the evidence why businesses should get rid of the 5-day week entirely.
Now that you’ve got an overview of why everyone is buzzing about a shorter workweek, let’s find out whether this is a good fit for you by looking at the pros and cons. If you’re 100% committed to the idea, this article by the team at Atlassian will show you how to propose a strong case about a 4-day schedule to your boss and tips for making it a success.
Allow me to be biased: if there’s one piece of writing that has stuck with me over the past month, it’s Oliver Burkeman’s last column for The Guardian. It’s a collection of life advice (eight gems of wisdom) that is also relevant to your work and art. A few principles which I keep revisiting:
When we think of stress, we often equate it with negative experiences and overwhelming situations that impair our mental and physical health. But not all stress is created equal. There is distress, which is harmful. There is also eustress, which produces positive feelings of fulfillment and excitement and improves focus and performance.
This comprehensive guide delves into the inner workings of stress, how eustress can enable us to live more meaningful lives, and useful tools to help you identify distress and eustress and transform the former into the latter.
In the late 20s and early 30s—a long time before burnout even became a thing—physician Edmund Jacobson was already conscious of the negative health impact of the prevalent pressure and pursuit to be overly productive. Hailed as the father of tension control, Jacobson devoted his life to studying scientific relaxation. He invented the progressive relaxation technique to help his patients deal with stress and anxiety.
The technique involves tightening and relaxing specific muscle groups in sequence. Jacobson believed that calming the nerves could calm the mind. Why not take 15 minutes to try out this technique? Let me know what you discover!
As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, the team at ScreenCloud is working on our first full-on virtual event: Reboot. After months of planning and execution (accompanied by a considerable amount of sweat and tears), we’re excited to announce that the event will be live for one week, from Oct 26 to Oct 30.
If you care about building and strengthening connections in the workplace—with the humans you work with, the mission you are on, and the work itself—this event is for you. Come join us for some riveting conversations and lessons from remarkable figures and seasoned experts in the field of Leadership, Communication, Data, and more.
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Thanks to Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash for the cover photo 🙌