Companies and doctors and unions

When you start to focus on an issue, it suddenly seems as if everyone is talking about it. But the last couple of weeks reallyhave been extraordinary for the shorter working week, with top people from Google, the medical profession and unions all saying how desirable it would be.

It has long been known that Google allow employees a regular day to be creative around their jobs, but Google’s co-founder Larry Page has now gone a step further and supported a shorter working week – “the idea that everyone needs to work frantically hard to meet everyone’s needs is just not true.”

Top public health doctor John Ashton, president of the UK Faculty of Public Health, said outright that the UK should switch to a four day working week, to combat stress, give people more time with their families or exercising, and reduce unemployment. This, he said, would help to correct “a maldistribution of work.”

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady has also been supportive, saying “Too few people in the UK are able to work the hours they want and need…But there’s also a growing problem with excessive working hours, with millions of employees under real pressure as they attempt to balance work with their everyday lives”. Senior Unison Scotland figure Dave Watson has also blogged supporting the case for a shorter working week.

Support is building, discussion is spreading…

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