Richest Man In World Floats 3-Day Workweek Idea, Again

Three days of work a week sounds great, but Carlos Slim says those days should be 11 hours long — and you should retire in your seventies.

Richest Man In World Floats 3-Day Workweek Idea, Again

How about a four-day weekend — every weekend? Sounds pretty great right? Well, if the richest man in the world has his way you might soon be spending a lot fewer days on the job.

Carlos Slim: “I think the people should work three days.”

Christine Romans for CNN: “Three days?”

Carlos Slim: “I think it will happen. I don’t know when.”

That was Mexican multibillionaire and business magnate Carlos Slim. (Video via Bloomberg)

If you haven’t looked at the Forbes list of richest people in the world recently — he’s at number one — with a staggering fortune of more than $82 billion.

He initially floated that 3-day work week idea over the summer — as The Financial Times reports, in a speech at a business conference in Paraguay.

He said in part, “With three work days a week, we would have more time to relax; for quality of life. Having four days [off] would be very important to generate new entertainment activities and other ways of being occupied.”

Four days off? Entertainment? This all sounds amazing — but we know what you’re thinking: “There must be a catch, right?” Well, of course there is.  

See, by Slim’s plan each of those three days you’re on the job would run about 11 hours. Oh, and the retirement age? Between 70 and 75.

In Slim’s defense, under his plan the total number of hours worked per week would presumably only be around 33. That compared to the standard 40-hour work week we know today.  

Slim isn’t the first to propose less work and more play, though. As CNN reports, economist John Maynard Keynes as far back as 1930 was predicting the advent of new technology would eventually lead to just a 15-hour work week. (Video via PBS)

And the idea of the ubiquitous 40-hour work week isn’t exactly set in stone. It only became widely accepted around 1938, when President Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act into law. 

Slim does say he’s not sure when, if ever, your average work week could drop from five to three days — but he does believe it would improve the economy.

This video includes images from Janine / CC BY ND 2.0, Moyan Brenn / CC BY ND 2.0, Getty Images and the Library of Congress.