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Is this the perfect pattern for a working week? Tiny African nation of The Gambia has shortened the work week, making Friday a day of rest

 
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02/01/2013 11:14 AM
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Is this the perfect pattern for a working week? Tiny African nation of The Gambia has shortened the work week, making Friday a day of rest
In The Gambia, public sector workers will now clock in at 8:00 a.m. and clock out at 6:00 p.m., Monday to Thursday. They’ll still do a 40-hour week but have the luxury of Friday off.
President Yahya Abdul-Aziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh wants the extra rest day to “allow Gambians to devote more time to prayers, social activities and agriculture”.
In the dark days of the 19th Century, many workers in industrialized nations considered themselves lucky if they got Sunday off. The achievement of a 40-hour week with Saturday and Sunday off for many was a major landmark for the labor movement.
But some have tried to go further.
In 2008, about 17,000 government officials in the US state of Utah started working four 10-hour days in a bid to cut costs. The experiment didn’t last: the five-day week was reinstated in 2011.
Other US states have also toyed with the idea. Oregon and Texas legislators considered – but did not pass – four-day work week bills, while Georgia and Virginia have trialed it at a handful of agencies.
The four-day week is also popular in the Netherlands, where one in three men either works part-time or 40 hours in four days. In the UK, certain professions – journalists among them – have often worked a four-day week of longer shifts.
But despite the companies that offer compressed hours, flexible working arrangements or shift work, the nine-to-five, five-day week is still seen as the typical way to earn a living in much of the West.
But what is the ideal working week, and could the four-day week become more widespread?
Steven Shattuck, 28, is a community manager at Slingshot, a search engine optimization consultancy in Indianapolis, in the US, where everyone works 8:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m., Monday to Thursday. He thinks the four-day week is the way forward.
Read more: [link to www.bellenews.com]

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