It's Time to Get Rid of the 40-Hour Workweek, According to Google's Founders
Google's founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin recently participated in a rare joint interview, where they talked about self-driving cars, artificial intelligence and how the world no longer needs a 40-hour workweek. This is a topic that we have discussed at length here are Ridiculously Efficient, so it was certainly interesting to see industry leaders opening up a conversation about what the workweek should look like.
Page, who is currently Google's CEO, said there was a time when we needed to work full-time, but this need no longer exists, thanks to easy access to resources.
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"If you really think about the things that you need to make yourself happy—housing, security, opportunities for your kids—anthropologists have been identifying these things. It's not that hard for us to provide those things," he said. "The amount of resources we need to do that, the amount of work that actually needs to go into that is pretty small. I'm guessing less than 1% at the moment."
He added that this idea does conflict with the human "need to feel like you're needed." The solution he offers is to split your time between several part-time jobs, rather than one full-time job.
"You just reduce work time," Page said. "Most people, if I ask them, 'Would you like an extra week of vacation?' They raise their hands, 100% of the people. 'Two weeks vacation, or a four-day work week?' Everyone will raise their hand. Most people like working, but they'd also like to have more time with their family or to pursue their own interests. So that would be one way to deal with the problem, is if you had a coordinated way to just reduce the workweek. And then, if you add slightly less employment, you can adjust and people will still have jobs."
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Check out the entire interview in the video below.
Tell us in the comments: If you had the option, would you take an extra week or two of vacation time, or would you rather have a four-day workweek?