The three day work week

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One of the world's richest men is proposing a new work structure that would have people work longer, but take more time off throughout their lives.
According to Mexican telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim, the world needs a "radical change" in the way we approach our working lives.
"This means that people do not retire at 50 or 60 years old," Slim said at a business conference in Uruguay. "People will have to work longer, to 70 or 75 years old, and only work three days a week." 
The concept of retirement comes from the Industrial Revolution, when life expectancy was less than 75 years. Now, people in the developed world regularly live to 86, 90 or beyond and Slim would like to see working life adjust to recognize the change. While many countries are delaying the retirement age to 67, he would like to see the changes go further.
Slim’s company Telemaz is also putting its money where his mouth is. The company recently offered long-tenured employees the option to work well past the traditional retirement age, but on a reduced workload of four days a week.
  • Joanne on 2014-07-28 11:47:43 AM

    3 day week. It would be great if employers did look at offering this in the near future. Individuals after the age of 65+ get a few days off to revitalize. Employers do not suffer the brain drain.

  • Sarah Gayer on 2014-07-28 12:07:57 PM

    I was interviewed last week by GlobalTVNews on this topic. Carlos Slim is referring to the older worker and offering them a shorter workweek to keep them in the workforce longer. The State of Utah implemented a 4 day workweek for its public employees and in 2011 went back to the 5 day workweek. The Productivity improvements and savings they had anticipated never happened and their customers were not very happy. Can it work, yes but not in all industries and not for all kinds of sounds nice but I it reality right now???

  • Asha on 2014-07-28 12:34:31 PM

    I think this is a brilliant idea and would phase out the long-tenure employees while training the
    new ones to take the reign. It would solve the brain drain of the older workers and also help with the retirement funds as well as work/life balance for seniors.

  • Janice on 2014-07-28 2:52:43 PM

    Carlos Slim is a smart employer; when I went back to university at 50 to do a PhD in workplace wellness my employer kindly gave me the flexibility to work a 3 day week. When I finished my degree at age 57, I continued to work a 3 day week; it is perfect for me at my age, my employer maintains access to my experience and knowledge, and saves money not having to pay me full-time. It can be done in some organizations if the employer and employee are both flexible; there are days when I need to be flexible and go to work beyond my regularly scheduled 3 days but it does not happen often. A single job can be split between 2 people; not everyone wants to or needs to work full-time. Reduces stress and injuries from repetitive motion.

  • Sharon on 2014-07-29 11:15:43 AM

    Couldn't agree more, Janice!
    Smart, forward-thinking employers are beginning to realize that old-fashioned thinking and practices are not going to cut it in today's economy. With the competition for top talent being as fierce as it is, employers MUST look at ways of retaining valued employees at all ages & stages who (regardless of whether for family balance, late-stage career, or myriad other reasons) don't want to work a 40-50 hour workweek.
    Employers who refuse to budge from traditional work week arrangements continue to suprise me. If a modified work-week keeps your employees engaged and productive, why wouldn't you create a work situation that facilitates this? I concede that while not every job can be efficiently job-shared, with some creative problem-solving, many could.

  • Justin B. on 2014-07-29 2:40:31 PM

    I think in general we need to take a look at many aspects of work 'that have always been done that way' to figure out WHY they were done that way. And, if the circumstances have changed from when the norm was set, to change the process to better align with the current reality.

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