The case for the 4-day working week

'There's no rule that you have to work more to be successful'

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The Independent Online

Around three years ago, my only fellow passengers at 7am on the Tube where a handful of decorators and some guy passed out at a 45-degree angle on his way home from the night before.

But now the carriages are packed by that hour, as more and more people are expected to be at their desks for eight, along with working late, doing the odd weekend and being 'on call' round the clock.

The amount of our time on Earth we spend working is increasing, but not with a corresponding rise in pay and arguably at the severe detriment of our happiness.

Ryan Carson, the CEO of Treehouse, doesn't think it needs to be this way however, and has maintained a four-day workweek for his employees since 2006.

"There’s no rule that you have to work 40 hours, you have to work more to be successful," he told The Atlantic recently.

"We've proven that you can take it from an experiment into something that’s doable for real companies and real people in highly competitive markets."

Carson also gives his staff the freedom to work on projects of their choosing, and they don't have managers.

He believes the unorthodox shift structure actually makes for a more productive work force, as well as just being the right way to treat human beings.

"It’s not about more family time, or more play time, or less work time- it’s about living a more balanced total life," he explained. "We basically take ridiculously good care of people because we think it’s the right thing to do."