Working week too long? Bring back half-day Wednesdays…

Are you a full-time working parent?  If you are, I’m sure you will agree that the working week feels like it is getting longer and longer…

Over two-thirds (68%) of full-time workers in Britain feel they are working too many hours every week, and half would be in favour of working longer days in order to go back to half-day Wednesdays (a tradition phased out 20 years ago), according to a survey* commissioned by Travelzoo, the UK’s top travel and entertainment deals provider.


In a quirky twist on the long ongoing quest to having a healthy work/life balance, Travelzoo are campaigning to reclaim Wednesdays – 63% of employed UK adults said that given the choice they would rather work four 10-hour days rather than the traditional working week of five 8-hour days.

Respected psychologist Dr. Linda Papadopoulos comments, “Juggling the demands of a career and personal life is no easy feat, and with our ‘always-on, always-contactable’ working culture, even holidays don’t guarantee the downtime they should. The truth is that our ability to gain a healthy work-life balance is key, not only to a healthy family life, but also to more productivity in the workplace. Something like Travelzoo’s campaign to reclaim Wednesdays as a midweek point where we pause to take stock of where we are, and ensure that we have the balance we need, is a good start – not only for employees.”

Joel Brandon-Bravo, Travelzoo’s UK managing director said, “We encourage our teams to leave on time or a little earlier on Wednesdays as we see productivity and morale maintained by giving people a little mid-week respite. We can see from the research that half of British people would relish the chance to have some extra time off mid-week. Let’s encourage the nation to resurrect and adapt the half-day Wednesday mentality of the past – a bit more free time is the key to boosting our morale, both at home and within the workplace.”

Interesting facts about Wednesdays:

  1. The Urban Dictionary, describes Hump Day as “the middle of a work week used in the context of climbing a proverbial hill to get through a tough week“.
  2. Up until 1994, UK businesses could close at lunchtime on Wednesdays — in the Shops Act 1911, shop staff were entitled to a half-day off work.
  3. Wednesday afternoons at most schools and universities across the nation are still to this day commonly free of lessons and reserved for sports instead.
  4. A survey conducted by tanning brand St Tropez last year revealed that women look their oldest at 3:30pm on a Wednesday afternoon!


* This survey was conducted by independent third party, Censuswide, who polled 2000 working UK adults in October 2014.

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