The world’s fourth most wealthy man, Carlos Slim, has said he wants to introduce a three-day work week and a later retirement age for his employees.
The telecommunications billionaire hopes his plan will ‘counterbalance changes in the way that civilisation is living and working’ reports The Independent.
He believes sectors where productivity demands have led to excess personnel – such as government agencies – would be ideal for the new system.
He told Bloomberg Businessweek:
It’s great to exchange fewer days of work for more years until retirement. We’re offering people that have a lot of knowledge to stay longer and work fewer days.
Slim first mentioned a three-day week back in 2014, as technological advances mean machines can run 24-hours a day while people work shorter weeks.
The plan allows more jobs for young people alongside expertise from older workers staying on longer. Slim says he offered the three-day week to staff with roughly 40 per cent of them taking him up on it.
Although the scheme may sound radical, changes to the working week are nothing new said Slim:
Before they worked 72 hours, six days a week. Then 60 hours. The big success was the 48-hour workweek. Then the English week, where you worked Saturday and only rested on Sundays.
Then 40 hours. Instead of working five days, for 35 hours, let’s just work three days to make room for others to work.
Slim isn’t the only one who believes a shorter working week has hidden benefits. Companies in Sweden have actually improved productivity by shortening the working day to six hours.
Toyota centres in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city, made the switch 13 years ago and they’ve never looked back. The company have reported happier staff, a lower turnover rate, and an increase in profits in that time.
I know what I’ll be suggesting on Monday morning…