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Why is it that we equate long hours with greater effort? Could a four-day working week be the change we need for public health as well as the economy?
My guest on today’s conversation is Alex Pang, an author and former Silicon Valley tech consultant who noticed that, when he went on sabbatical from work, he suddenly got a lot more done. This led him to research and write about resting more and working less.
We begin the podcast by talking about active rest or, as Alex also terms it, ‘deep play’. How taking regular breaks from intense work to do something you love is a means to enhanced creativity and productivity. We talk about how the technologies we thought would give us a better work-life balance have instead robbed us of boundaries and ground our work down into a fine powder that settles on all areas of our life. It works both ways – we check social media or do our online banking while we’re at work, just as we check our work emails when we’re at home.
The solution, says Alex, is to work shorter, more focused hours and balance that with more ‘serious leisure’ time. There are already progressive companies out there who are shortening the working day or week and reaping the surprising rewards of increased profitability and productivity!
At a time when many of us are working in very different ways from normal, Alex’s work seems incredibly prescient. As lockdown slowly lifts and workplaces start to reopen, finding a balance between work, rest and play that promotes productivity and growth alongside employee wellbeing feels like a no-brainer. The same applies to the self-employed and across all industries. Surely this is our window of opportunity to explore what the ‘new normal’ should be? I found this conversation really inspiring and I hope you do too.
Disclaimer: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.*
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Watch the video version of this interview in full below.
*DISCLAIMER: Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.
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