Japan's government plans to encourage firms to let their employees choose to work four days a week instead of five, aiming to improve the balance between work and life for people who have family care responsibilities or need more time off to acquire new skills.
And from a commenter on the Hacker News thread:
The Japanese government isn't saying "Let's get rid of pointless meetings and busy work!" In tech removing the pointless nonsense isn't actually reducing the amount of real work people do. Instead, Japan is saying "Our country is wealthy enough and advanced enough that our people can actually do less work." That's fascinating.
I’m not here to debate the merits of this proposal, I’m just here to say that technology and improved general productivity always had the promise of letting us work less, and yet today we work more than ever and have less than before. Where one spouse was expected to work and the other stayed at home in a…well, home, now both usually need to work to pay rent in an apartment. While adults used to have hobbies, now we have hustles and if you’re not monetizing those side hustles then what are you doing? Oh, and make sure you keep Slack notifications on so that you don’t miss that late night message about the work thing that can’t wait for tomorrow.
Life is better in many ways, of course, but the “we’ll be able to work less and live fuller lives at home” never came to pass.