Should people be off on Fridays?
By Vanessa Barford
The Gambia has shortened the work week, making Friday a day of rest. Is this the perfect pattern for a working week?
In the tiny African nation of The Gambia, public sector workers will now clock in at 8am and clock out at 6pm, Monday to Thursday. They’ll still do a 40-hour week but have the luxury of Friday off.
President 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 industrialised 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 labour 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. ….