There are many articles out there discussing shorter, more flexible work weeks, including a post from the New Economics Foundation that details multiple benefits of straying from the standard 40 hour work week. In addition to alleviating work travel and rush hour traffic, a change in work hours brings benefits such as more productive, less stressed workers, reduced childcare expenses and more time with children, work time more equally distributed among the population, and a move away from the “living to work, working to earn and earning to consume” lifestyle. The author notes that such adjustments would need to be implemented gradually, ideally with equal pay efforts and can eventually help to ease the transition to retirement as the workforce ages.
Climate Protection: Allows for less travel days and better distribution of travel times, alleviating traffic slow downs
Energy & Mobility: Gives opportunity to adjust working hours to the availability of daylight, decreasing stress on the grid
Resilience: Creates a flexible schedule where it’s less likely work days will be missed during inclement weather
Jobs & Assets: Increases productivity of workers; allows for more employment by redistributing working hours among the population
Health, Well-Being, & Safety: Reduces stress and resulting illnesses
Connection: Gives individuals more time to spend with their children and other loved ones
This post is part of a series on examples of multisolving, or climate-smart policies that simultaneously work to mitigate climate change while providing co-benefits such as the ones described above. The multiple benefits analysis was done using the FLOWER framework.