NATIONAL PULSE – Dream of a three-day work week has all but vanished 

Men and women across all generations prefer move away from five eight-hour days


June 22, 2018 –  In 1930, it seemed like a forgone future. Influential economist John Maynard Keynes seemed certain when he wrote in his Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren that a 15-hour work week was almost inevitable in Western societies within 100 years.

Today, however, Canadians would settle for far less.

Indeed, a new study from the Angus Reid Institutes finds that while a three-day work seemed like a real possibility to a significant portion of the population 50 years ago, that dream has all but vanished in 2018.

That doesn’t mean Canadians don’t want to work toward it, however. Close to half of Canadians (47%) say that moving to a 30-hour work week from 40 hours is a good idea. Notably, the size of the group saying the opposite – that this is a bad idea – is less than half of what it was in the 1950’s and 60’s, down to just three-in-ten (31%).

Further, if they have to continue to work a standard 40-hour week, seven-in-ten (68%) now say they would prefer to condense it into four 10-hour shifts rather than five eight-hour segments. This represents a 25-point rise in the number of Canadians who said so in 1981.

More Key Findings:

  • The number of Canadians who expect a three-day work week in the next 20 years has dropped significantly to just 13 per cent. In 1985 Gallup Canada found that 50 per cent said they believed this would happen and in 1969, 48 per cent said the same.
  • All age groups are open to the idea of reducing the work week by one day while still working 40 hours. Seven-in-ten from each generation say this is something they would support
  • Differences in opinion on a reduced work week, to 30 hours from 40, are notably correlated more closely with political affiliation more than age or gender. Majorities of NDP (51%) and Liberal (55%) supporters support the idea, while just one-in-three Conservatives (35%) say the same

Link to the poll here:

About Mel Rothenburger (7707 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: