Cut carbon emissions in half, save money and have more time to enjoy life.
By Gregory Ciupka
Published December 10, 2015
World leaders are negotiating in Paris for the long-term survival of our planet. What can we do in the meantime to make a difference? Perhaps a way forward lies in a recent experience at our household.
Our daughter signed up for the indoor rowing program at school six weeks ago. It means that everyone in the house now rises at 5:15 am weekday mornings. Starting the day early was tough initially, but became a habit in short order. And sleeping in on the weekend now garners special appreciation.
Can we apply this change in the working world? Could we extend our work day from 7 to 11 hours, but compress our workweek from five to three days?
For illustration, divide the current 9-to-5 (five days per week) workers into three groups. Assume one third cannot change their schedule. The second group arranges to work extended work days Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. And the remaining third chooses to work long days Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
For the latter two groups, moving to a 3-day workweek means reducing commuting hours by two-fifths, cutting carbon emissions originating from personal vehicles. As a bonus, half of their commuting hours are converted into personal time, without reducing take-home pay.
This approach to addressing climate changes generates interesting possibilities. For example, if you work three days per week, you enjoy a four-day weekend each week, providing ample time to get things done around the house, take care of personal needs (your own and your children's and even elders') and perhaps follow up with personal interests.
I would expect stress levels to decline significantly for many as a result.
Do you want to save money on car related expenses, contribute positively to reducing carbon emissions, reduce your stress levels and have more time to enjoy life?
Can you make a version of this happen in your workplace? What are the challenges? What are the risks? Let me know - the dividends can be massive!
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