Air date: June 21, 2023
Juliet Schor, PhD, Boston College
Tami Simon, JD, Segal
Host: Emily Wolfe, MSW, LCSW, HERO
Employers were propelled into new work arrangements due to the pandemic. Businesses pivoted to remote and hybrid work models quickly, further expanding our understanding of workplaces and spaces. In recent years, the social contract between employers and employees has evolved with many workers desiring flexible work arrangements, expanded benefits, and even reduced work hours without decreased pay. Is the 40-hour working week antiquated? For that matter, how and when did the 40-hour work week become standard business practice? What evidence supports (or contradicts) that working 40+ hours per week is good for the economy and population health?
The idea of a four-day workweek is nothing new, although there is a resurgence of attention, research, and even support being given to the concept. 4 Day Work Week Global (4DWG) published results from their 4 Day Week Global pilot program reporting the benefits of providing workers with an extra day off with no reduction in pay. Their research indicates that participating companies reported increased revenue, reduced absenteeism, less stress and burnout, and increased life satisfaction. At the 2022 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, experts discussed the pros and cons of shifting to a four day work week. Again, sharing research that indicates increased productivity, boosts in attracting and retaining talent, and positive environmental impacts. Are these findings unique to the employers that participated in the study, or would they be found across businesses of various sizes and industries? While employers work to retain and attract talent, is there an opportunity to evaluate the pros and cons of the 40-hour work week?
Join us as we hear from Dr. Juliet Schor, economist and professor of sociology at Boston College, and learn about her research with companies transitioning to a 4 day work week. Juliet will be joined by Tami Simon, JD, Senior Vice President, Consulting Leader at Segal. Hosted by HERO’s Emily Wolfe.
Juliet Schor, PhD, is an economist and professor of sociology at Boston College. She is the lead researcher on 4DWG trials for companies instituting four-day weeks with five days’ pay. She has been researching worktime since the 1980s and is the author of the national best-seller, The Overworked American: the unexpected decline of leisure. In 2020, Juliet published After the Gig: how the sharing economy got hijacked and how to win it back, which covered nearly a decade of research on the platform economy. She has also researched sustainable consumption and the link between climate change and worktime. Before joining Boston College, she taught at Harvard University in the Department of Economics and later, the Committee on Degrees in Women’s Studies. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including, in 2022, election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Juliet received her PhD in economics at the University of Massachusetts.
Tami Simon, JD, is a Senior Vice President, Consulting Leader at Segal and a nationally recognized health, wellness, and workforce strategy leader. Recently named one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Benefit Consulting by Employee Benefit Adviser, Tami is Segal’s first global corporate consulting business leader. In this role, Tami and her team provide entrusted HR, employee benefits, and insurance advice to large and midsize employers in various industries. Tami is on the board of directors for Emeriti Retirement Health Solutions, the advisory board of the ERISA Industry Committee as well as BNA Tax Management’s Compensation Planning Journal. Before joining Segal, Tami worked for Mercer, the law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery, Hewitt Associates, and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. She also served as a judicial intern for the Iowa District Court. Tami received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign and her law degree, with distinction, from the University of Iowa College of Law, where she was an associate editor of the Law Review. She is a member of the Illinois Bar.
Host: Emily Wolfe, MSW, LCSW, is HERO’s Director of Learning Experience, providing leadership and project management for HERO Committees and the various projects that the committees produce. In addition to committee project management, Emily supports HERO’s Senior Fellow in planning HERO Think Tank meetings. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and received her master’s degree in social work from UNC-Chapel Hill with a concentration in adult mental health. She has experience working in hospital settings, including oncology and clinical care management, employee work-site wellness programming, transitional community housing, and private mental health practice. Emily has a strong interest in the intersection of workplace culture and employee mental health, and the unique health and well-being needs of lower-wage earners. On a personal note, she lives in North Carolina and enjoys spending time outdoors, listening to music and keeping fit, attending classes at her local YMCA. She has a husband and two young boys. Life is busy and always full of excitement!