Since presenting ‘A Vision for 2030, that could actually happen’ I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and something, in particular, has been keeping me awake at night.
Initially, I created the ‘vision’ as a way of showcasing to people what could actually be possible in our future – flying cars, local cryptocurrency, smarter living, virtually live entertainment – but the thing that has really stood out to me is the approach to working life.
We are all busy people, especially when it comes to work. How many times have you had that frustrated conversation with a partner, friend or colleague about ‘not enough hours in the day’ and the terrible work/life balance? Whilst people’s time becomes more filled with endless tasks and unrealistic expectations, the working world is having a dramatic effect on not just overall productivity but our mental health and well-being.
On average we work for 8 hours and 58 minutes a day, receive 192 emails, spend 2 of those hours in meetings, drink 2.7 cups of tea and grab just 15 minutes for lunch, often sat at our workspace. It’s staggering to think we spend nearly 9 hours a day working, yet research suggests we are only productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes a day.
Since researching the way we work it’s become even more apparent that we’ve lost the balance BUT we have the power to change it. The future workplace doesn’t need to be all about a 9-5 mentality with people shackled to desks, spending too much time juggling it all.
I introduced my idea about the ‘4×4’ way of working at a business steering group and since then have been testing the water with people I meet. The 4×4 scheme in simple terms would see us working 4 hours a day, 4 days a week. Sounds good? Most people’s reaction is a resounding yes, but why work like this and can we actually achieve this in reality? Well, I believe we can.
The 4×4 scheme will enable us to work in a more productive way, whereby we actually get stuff done, we structure our time better and our mental and physical health improves. It then allows us greater flexibility and frees up time to spend with family and friends and impacts local economy. Luxembourg is the most productive country in the world, yet they work with fewest hours, 15 hours less a week.
I believe that digital and flexible working practices are key to making this work. I’ve got some great ideas about how this can work in reality, across different sectors and the tools and systems that would help make this happen, but ultimately we need people to champion this and to see it being led from the top with CEOs and Directors seeing the value that this can bring to their business and their people.
I truly believe in the 4×4 scheme. I’ve already put together the details and I’m looking to speak with more people who are interested in finding out more about this. We are all humans, looking to get the very best out of life, let's step outside the 9-5 and shake things up for the better.
If you’ve found this interesting and would like to have a free strategy session about becoming 4×4, let me know. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org