Huffpost Business

Billionaire Calls For A Three-Day Workweek

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We should all get a four-day weekend every week, according to one of the most successful businessmen in the world.

Carlos Slim, the 74-year-old Mexican communications titan, recently told a business conference in Paraguay that we should only work three days a week, the Financial Times reported.

"Having four days [off] would be very important to generate new entertainment activities and other ways of being occupied," Slim said, according to the FT.

Around the world, people are retiring later in life than they used to. Cutting the workweek down to three days, and working about 11 hours a day, could keep workers healthy and their ideas fresh, Slim said.

American CEOs may have a thing or two to learn about work-life balance from Slim, who is either the richest or second-richest person on the planet, depending on who's counting. Slim's phone company Telmex reportedly lets some life-long workers retire younger than 50, and some older employees can opt to work shorter weeks, according to the FT.

American workers tend to be overworked. For decades, increases in worker productivity have far outpaced growth in wages. And the U.S. is the only developed country in the world that doesn't make companies give workers paid maternity leave.

Of course, overwork and prolonged stress are pretty terrible for your health.

And it seems employers tend to benefit from shorter workweeks, too.

"Better work gets done in four days than in five," Jason Fried, whose company 37signals switched to a four-day workweek for part of the year, wrote in an op-ed in the New York Times in 2012. "When there’s less time to work, you waste less time. When you have a compressed workweek, you tend to focus on what’s important."

Workers who have more flexible schedules also tend to take less time off. That was the case in Utah, where, in 2008, the state switched to a four-day workweek for all state employees as an experiment to lower energy consumption.