Feature

Getting more by working less

A shorter workweek would produce happier, healthier workers and put many of the unemployed back to work, said Richard Schiffman at The Washington Post.

Richard Schiffman
The Washington Post

We shouldn’t have to “kill ourselves at work just to make a living,” said Richard Schiffman. Too many Americans are sacrificing their sleep, health, and happiness for their jobs. We plug away late at night and on weekends, working hundreds of hours more each year than people in other developed countries.

Yet even as corporate profitability continues to soar, the buying power of our wages is on the decline. Someone is getting rich off our productivity, “but it is not the American worker.” That’s why it’s time we consider “a wide-scale reduction in work hours.” This may seem an odd moment to do so, given the weak economy. But it may be just what we need to stop corporations from prioritizing profits above the health of the economy and of “those whose hard work made that economy flourish.”

A shorter workweek would produce happier, healthier workers and put many of the unemployed back to work. Some paychecks might be smaller, but that’s a trade-off plenty of Americans have said they’re willing to make for more leisure time with their families. “With so much to gain,” we would be wise to do a little less.

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