Romance day

THE FOUR DAY WEEK is both an attractive demand and a realistic utopia, an acheivable measure any of us could feasibly gain, and with it, improve our lives. But wait! Our society’s totalising culture of shouting-productivity and management will strike back with demands of its own:

“Managers need to be comfortable that these hours are being used for that particular purpose (of passion) and not to do chores, or to work on your own little start-up [or] business when not explicitly stated,” she says.

Absolutely no. We can all imagine the kind of management where the tradeoff for a four-day week—or any other arrangement of increasing leisure—is increasing intrusion of management onto recreation time. We’ve all heard of the (in theory) rather nice arrangements where software developers in major firms are given company time to work on open-source projects; we all know about lawyers and professionals working pro bono. This isn’t that, this is colonisation of private time. One person’s ‘romance day’ of fulfilling tasks and self-actualisation can so easily turn to HR measuring those things against firm profitability. Clocking off should be exactly, and completely, that.

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