Mexico's Carlos Slim Advocates For Three-Day Work Weeks To Make People Happy

Carlos Slim at the White House for a state dinner May 19, 2010 in  Washington, DC.

Carlos Slim at the White House for a state dinner May 19, 2010 in Washington, DC.  (2010 Getty Images)

The businessman who is known for dominating Mexico’s telecommunications industry and regaining his spot as the world’s richest man (or at least tying with Bill Gates) is not the first person one would think as an advocate for a shorter work week.

But that’s exactly what Carlos Slim told a group of businesspeople in Paraguay.

Slim said that workers should think about moving to a three-day work week, but instead of working the traditional seven or eight hours a day normal in the developed world the work day would be between 11 and 12 hours long. This, Slim said, would give workers more leisure time – and thus lead to more productivity and happier workers when on the clock.

“With three workdays a week, we would have more time to relax; for quality of life,” Slim said, according to The Financial Times. “Having four days [off] would be very important to generate new entertainment activities and other ways of being occupied.”

Slim has been progressive on a number of workers issues within the companies he owns and has even started to institute his shortened work week at his fixed line Telmex phone company in Mexico. At the company Slim has instituted a voluntary scheme allowing workers on a collective labor contract who joined the company in their late teens to keep working, on full pay, but for only four days a week.

“People are going to have to work for more years, until they are 70 or 75, and just work three days a week – perhaps 11 hours a day,” Slim said, according to Slate.

Slim’s net worth recently rose to an estimated $78.9 billion, which brings him square with Bill Gates as the richest man in the world

América Móvil’s stock has actually surged since last week’s announcement that it was selling off some its assets. The company, whose stock had languished over the past few years, jumped 10 percent on the New York Stock Exchange the day following the announcement of Mexico’s tough new telecommunications reform law, which was widely been hailed as a savvy move on Slims’ part.

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