by Lawyer Working Girl
I hope all of you Working Girls had a great holiday break. I had 5 wonderful days off from work (including the weekend) and I enjoyed every second of it. However, all day Monday all I could think of was, "I sure don't want to go back to work tomorrow" (but in the same breath, I did give thanks for having a job to go to). Do you guys do that too? Usually, it's Sunday evening when it hits me that the weekend is almost over. Since I was off Monday, I just knew that I would have the post-holiday blues this morning. Well, imagine my surprise when I walked into the office today and I was in a very cheerful mood. It's funny that I thought that having 5 days off would put me in a bad mood upon my return to work, when in actuality, it was the exact opposite.
This made me think about how much we work in the U.S. I think we work WAY too much and I think that more days off would do wonders for productivity and moral (I personally found myself a lot more productive today than I'd been the last couple of weeks). On average, Americans get 17 vacation days a year. 17. The French get the most vacations days a year, averaging about 37.5. Wow! At first I thought, "we should be given more vacation days." But then, I remembered always hearing how many people don't use all of their vacations days because they are too busy at work or because they feel like things will fall apart without them. (Let's be clear. This will never be an issue for me. I'm taking every day that they give me.) So, giving more vacation days doesn't really help if people aren't going to take them.
So, what's my solution, you ask? I say we should have 4 day work weeks. 4 days to work, 3 days to rest. Think about our current weekends. We get off Friday evenings and have that evening and night to rest and unwind. I tend to find that I'm exhausted when Friday comes and enjoy an evening at home. Saturday comes and you try to cram a lot in that one day (errands, cleaning, etc.), because it's the only true full weekend day that you have (Sunday night you have to get in bed at a decent hour for work the next day). When Sunday comes you're already thinking about work on Monday. Am I right or is this just me? I think the 3 day weekend would allow workers to truly rest, relax and stay mentally sharp for the work week. Working Girls, what do you think? And who do I talk to about implementing this idea?