Hopefully for many of you, Friday marks the end of the working week. Our division of days into weeks is actually rather arbitrary, and stems from the Babylonians, about 4,000 years ago who believed our solar system contained seven planets and set things up that way. The arrangement of weeks as comprising seven days was then spread through the world and history from the Egyptians to the Romans so by 2018 it’s unimaginable for the world to be any other way. The weekend is a bit more novel of a concept, this fantastic Atlantic article marks that the first reference to a weekend was in England in 1879. Judeo-Christian religions practiced a “day of rest” but that is hardly a true “week end.” At first, Saturdays were just half-days for workers, perhaps to encourage them to get their less restful pursuits out of the way so they could attend church properly on Sundays. Fast forward to the twentieth century, in order to mitigate and prevent increasing unemployment during the Great Depression, many factories instituted a five day work week, which has since become the standard in most work places.
However, now there is growing evidence that supports a four day work week. Long gone are the days of factory and industrial work, and perhaps people are more productive working four days and not working three days than the current model. In 1930, John Maynard-Keynes even speculated (or fantasized?) about how workers of the future would only need to work fifteen hours a week! However your work week is configured, I hope you break is full of fun and relaxation.