I can remember a time when regular school classes still took place on Saturdays. Only the first Saturday of the month was free. Today we are discussing how school lessons can be straightened out in order to deaccelerate the spread of COVID-19, but Saturday off from school now seems as sacred as just Sunday used to be. What applies to school can of course be applied to many activities. And that would also lead to an equalization of the traffic loads during rush-hours.
Thinking aggressively, a model of a two by three day week could also be created. The prerequisite here would be the expansion of the daily working hours in order not to reduce the entire scope of work too radically, although I expect a reduction anyway. For example, three days of ten or nine hours. Alternating working days such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday or Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday or connected days such as Monday to Wednesday and Thursday to Saturday could be options. Such a model also makes better use of resources in the workplace: two employees share a desk, telephone, etc.
In addition, leisure activities can now also be used on other days of the week and the equalization of such activities increases the recreational value. For couples and families, however, it must be ensured that there are enough days off together in such new models. Why not have a medical check-up carried out or go to the authorities with the same ease with which you go shopping on Saturdays? A visit to a veterinarian on a Saturday is already common today, as is a visit to the hairdresser, which is commonly limited on Mondays, speaking for Germany.
It takes courage, time and an occasion to go such a path. The resistance will be considerable and protection from exploitation and excessive workload must be ensured. But the opportunities and advantages of such models and a more flexible working hours and extension of service times will outweigh them. Perhaps COVID-19 is a first reason to think about such steps. Not as an alternative to more home office times, the latter will remain to a significant extent, but as a supplement.
Burkhard Pollak, Januar 2021