Forget about the 4-day work week. How does 3.5 days of work each week sound?
The CEO of JPMorgan Chase will make your children happy with his predictions about the future of work
The four-day work week, a demand of striking auto workers and a dream for many other American employees, may not be short enough. The CEO of JP Morgan Chase said recently that the next generation of workers will work just 3.5 days a week.
The prediction came in an interview in which Jamie Dimon told Bloomberg TV that artificial intelligence would bring about the change. He also had other good news, saying, “Your children are going to live to 100 and not have cancer because of technology.”
It’s unclear why our children would be working 3.5 days, as opposed to two or three in the future, but a professor of data science at Washington University in St. Louis warned this week we need to leave the work week exactly as it is.
Writing for The Hill, Liberty Vittert wrote that a four-day work week “threatens to undo everything that made our nation’s current prosperity possible.”
Noting that America had a six-day work week until Henry Ford went to five days for his workers nearly a century ago, Vittert said that working less for the same pay might be great for employees but would be terrible for the economy and for consumers.
“Has any society or economy grown or possessed any dynamism while everyone was lying in hammocks?” she wrote.
Vittert’s arguments, however, may not sway the 75% of American workers who say they would prefer to work four 10-hour days than five 8-hour days. Nor those who have participated in trials in which they work 32 hours a week for the same pay as 40.
Although baby boomers have known a 40-hour work week all of their life — it became common in 1940 — there have been repeated attempts to shorten it, and many failed predictions of its shortening. Per The Washington Post, “In 1933, the Senate passed, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt supported, a bill to reduce the standard workweek to only 30 hours.”
And the economist John Maynard Keynes famously predicted in 1930 that in a century, people would only work three hours a day. Since 2030 is still seven years away, he’s not wrong — yet.