Are four day weeks coming to the UK in 2009?
Who would you rather sleep with? The head of Goerge Clooney on the body of Johnny Vegas? Or the head of Johnny Vegas on the body of George Clooney?
No? Alright, here's another: would you rather work a four day week for the foreseeable future, or have your boss make you redundant so you can find a full-time job? It's a scenario you might want to consider, as shorter working weeks could become a trend in 2009.
Business Week has highlighted several US companies that have reduced the hours of their workforce during the current economic gloom. Why not just put staff out of their misery and let them go? Because the companies don't want to lose skilled staff that'll be difficult to replace should the economy bounce back sooner than expected; sacking people integral to manufacturing and production would hinder a company's ability to respond to an unexpected uplift in business.
That's not the only reason, however, according to Business Week:
In Atlanta, Mayor Shirley Franklin is cutting the hours and pay of 4,600 employees by 10% because the city is facing a $50 million budget shortfall. Franklin says that if she were to lay off more workers instead of slashing hours, "you'd have to eliminate major functions of the government. It's not just jobs we've saved, it's services."
A four day week may seem like cause for a booze-fuelled house party until you realise you can't afford the booze anymore. Or the house. With unemployment expected to rise sharply in 2009, would you be willing to accept a shorter working week that may cripple you financially, or would you quit the job altogether to find full time work?