Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim insisted earlier this month on the need to cut down the working week to 3 days and said 75 was the right age for retirement.
Slim, arguably the second-wealthiest man on earth behind Bill Gates as per Forbes magazine rankings, said during the Mexico XXI Century scholarship holders event, that the working week should be reduced to three days of 12 hours a day and up to 36 hours a week, while retirement should be after 75 years of age.
The businessman said that reducing working hours helped open the labor market to young people, as manual or physical jobs will keep losing ground to robotized activities. Therefore, jobs will be focused on the service area. He forecast that more jobs should be opened in the sectors of education, culture, entertainment, and tourism.
He also pointed out that retirements should start at 75 years of age due to the increase in life expectancy and because, together with pensions and social insurance, they represent a great fiscal deficit for the State and its insufficient reserves: The idea that a person should retire at 60 or 65 years of age is absurd said Slim, who also advised the younger generations to love life, because it is fundamental.
Success is the harmony of the soul with our emotions that are enhanced by family, authenticity and honesty, Slim added.
Slim also criticized the educational systems requiring a graduation thesis or professional exams which stretch the university professional training period, against the quick labor insertion of young people. He also underlined that free university education was not enough if essential food and transportation needs were not covered.
Argentina, Colombia, Peru, and Mexico top the list of countries with the longest working hours, although several studies have shown that when employees work fewer hours and a few days a week, their mental health improves because they have more spare time, which increases productivity, according to a study from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published in The Economist.
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), workers with long hours generate losses of 3% of the GDP, because their productivity decreases while the risk of contracting chronic diseases rises.
Countries such as Iceland, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, and Australia have a shorter workweek of 34 hours or less, according to ILO data.
There is an increase in legislation and judiciary rulings worldwide banning supervisors from contacting their employees over work-related issues during weekends or outside their daily schedules.
Microsoft in Japan has a four-day workweek which resulted in a 40% increase in productivity, as well as in a reduction in the company's expenses on paper and ink.