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The Four Day Week Fantasy

If Labour’s campaign for a four-day week comes to fruition, how will you spend your extra day of rest?

Shannon Mahanty | 14.11.2019

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With a general election looming, Britain’s political parties are in full-blown campaign mode. While Boris Johnson showcased his extremely questionable tea-making skills in Monday’s Conservative campaign video, Labour have been hitting the headlines with several of their policies, including a pledge to introduce a four-day working week within the next decade.

Echoing the work culture of countries like France, who switched to a 35-hour week in 2000, the campaign for the Labour 4 Day Week states: “Moving to a four-day week will drastically improve the lives of people up and down the country by giving them back the time to spend with their communities, their friends, their families and their loved ones,” though its detractors argue a shorter working week would slow down economic growth and be harmful for the NHS.

Whether we get one or not, the idea of a four-day week definitely begs the question: how would you spend that extra day off? From sound baths to learning Spanish, team BURO. are already planning how to spend that mythical 24 hours of freedom.

Naomi Barling, Fashion Editor

“I would pick up some extra activities like sound-bathing [a form of meditation that uses different sounds and vibrations] or pottery, or I’d switch off for the day and dedicate it to practicing self-care. I’d also like to work on all those side hustles I haven’t got round to. I'm working on some art projects with a friend so I’d put way more time into curating exhibitions and stuff like that.”

Fola Abari, Digital Project Manager

“I'd split the day into three - probably optimistic, but why not?

  1. Do a class - I've always wished I was that person who religiously attended a class on the weekend, but I swear if I had an extra day of downtime, I would be her.
  2. Lunch with a community of like-minded folk. If I've got a free day then I'd still want it to feel productive, but more like life and mind enhancing as opposed to actual werk.
  3. I'd still need my dinner dates of course but ideaaaaaly I could take this in-house and have friends round instead. If I've got a spare day, surely I'll have time to cook too?

Obviously the main benefit of a 4-day week would be a guilt-free Sunday where I do absolutely nothing but exist. No pressure to socialise, just me focusing on doing me. In a dream world, me doing me would involve sewing my own clothes. I'd need to actually learn how to sew first though, so I guess I know what that class would be.”

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Emma Firth, Features Editor

“I would take up painting – again. I went to an art school in South London when I was 18, with some loose idea that I would get really really good, then one day someone would see my paintings, put them in an exhibition and people would buy it (naïve perhaps, but hey, I was 18). Though this was one of my biggest passions growing up, I found the art school environment tough and started to find less joy in the actual process of making art, which is obviously the point. I became more fascinated by other people’s work, interviewing my peers about what they were doing. In many ways, I’ve made a career out the latter, so I suppose all was not lost. Fast forward a decade, and I’d like to just spend an internet-free day doing things I used to love. First up: reacquainting myself with a canvas.”

Heather Gwyther, Contributor

“My fifth day would be resplendent in good intentions: Forrest yoga; extracting someone else's blackheads; therapy. Instead - whether or not I'd been out the night before under the guise of a 'quick drink' - it would probably be spent sampling every flavour of crisp in the multipack. Ultimately, I'd feel regret. Regret at doing nothing and regret at everything I'd ever done. Recumbent, I'd await the original weekend - a DOUBLE chance at fun and respite. What could possibly go wrong?”

Shannon Mahanty, contributor

"One of the perks of being freelance is that sometimes I already do work a four-day week. But then sometimes I work a nine-day week, it all evens out (I hope). Now if the rest of the British workforce decided to join me on my rogue week days off, I'd be slightly bitter and, therefore, I'd be dedicating my extra day in pursuit of a skill that I can show off and therefore regain my twisted sense of self-employed superiority. Glass blowing, muay thai boxing and Spanish would all be on the list."

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