Less Working = More Living?

Will less working lead to more living?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that you can’t be good at self-care, work and socialising all at the same time – but would an extra day off help that work life balance?

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There have been rumblings about moving to a 4-day work week for years and countries like Iceland already offer the option to 85% of its working population. In March 2018, New Zealand company Perpetual Guardian ran a week’s trial, which saw a 20% improvement in productivity and was promoted by Prime Minister Jacinda Arden for nationwide consideration.

Most recently, Spain announced a three-year trial of a 32-hour (4-day) work week which launched this month and the Prime Minister of Finland and Japan’s annual economic policy guidelines each proposed a 4-day work week.

But the demand for shorter work weeks is reaching our own shores with the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) calling on the Scottish Government to expand its 4-day work week pilots into more industries. 80% of workers have said they would support a 4-day week, stating it would improve their wellbeing.

85% of Icelandic workers have the option to work a 4 day weekGetting that work-life balance 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, as we retreated to our homes and waved goodbye to our commutes we should, in theory, have had far more time to ourselves. But with the blurring of work-life boundaries many of us ended up working longer hours in a time of already high anxiety and stress.

So after the year we’ve had, when we have learned the real importance of our lives outside of the office, it stands to reason that this is the right time to be talking about having more time away from our desks – whether they’re in the office or at home!

But what does that mean for our incomes? Well, the idea is that you would keep your same income, but drop to just four days a week. Trials of the shorter work week have shown that productivity increases as there is less time for procrastination and, as workers are generally happier because of their longer weekends, they are much more focused when they’re actually at work.

What about your side hustle?

Many people these days have a side hustle – whether it’s running an Etsy shop or landlording. By reducing your day job hours, you’re opening up a whole extra day when you can focus on it – no more squeezing it in before or after work or into your weekends. 

As a landlord, this gives you a whole day every week to check in on your paperwork and catch up with your tenants. It’s unlikely you’d need to spend more than an hour or two, if that, on it every week.

If anything, having more time in your week to catch up on paperwork, will significantly reduce your stress levels and will still leave you a full two-day weekend.

New Zealand Perpetual Guardian ran a week's trial which saw a 20% improvement in productivityTackling life admin

We all know that life admin is often a struggle to keep on top of, but with an extra day a week, you really could do it all.

Things that we let slide usually include organising our pensions, after all, how many of us know where all our pension pots are? It’s also a good time to get on top of your savings and debt – carving out only a couple of hours on your brand new day off is enough to make a plan of action.

It’s also a great time to consider life insurance – after all, if we’ve got more time to enjoy our lives, we should definitely be thinking about insuring it! Our sister company emoov offers great life insurance cover if you’re in the market 

Now that you’re on top of your side hustle and your life admin… The world is your oyster! We’ll see you on the beach!

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