Hands up if you feel that you work too many hours to be productive all the time. Well, in the UK not only employees have that feeling. Employers themselves want to change the approach to working and together with campaign groups and willing companies they are now starting to make that shift. The 4-day work week is coming and, most surprisingly, it turns out to be more productive and profitable than working 5 days a week. What else is in it for you… you work 4 days and get paid for 5.
The 5 day work week is outdated
The 5-day working week that we’re used to, with a weekend on Saturday and Sunday, is outdated. Although this schedule is not too much of an old phenomenon – the weekend as we now know it is Read here about the history of the weekend, Saint Monday and how the debate of the 4 day week is to compare to the 19th century debate about the weekend. – it’s no longer thé way to go. According to the 4 day week campaign, our current working schedule is making us stressed, over-worked and burnt out. They stated a list of benefits for workers, employers, the economy, society and environment. Watch the video below in which the campaign explains why we should demand a 4-day week.
Trials approve for a 4-day week
In the UK a trial with 70 companies together with researchers at Cambridge and Oxford universities, Boston College and think tank Autonomy, turned out to be a great succes. Mid-way 95% of the companies participating in the pilot said the productivity had either stayed the same or improved since introducing the 4-day week. Now, 100 companies in the UK implement the 4 day work week as the new normal, without a pay cut.
Other tests with the project also show great results. Take for example Japan, where Microsoft tested a 4-day week and saw the productivity increase with a stunning 40%. This pilot happened over three years ago, in 2019, and lasted for only the month August. But nonetheless the results were great: employees were happier, took 25% less time off and electricity use went down by 23% because of the Fridays that were off. And on top of that, 92% of the employees said they liked the shorter week, while their productivity increased with 40%. Thus, a win-win for both employers and employees, who still get paid for a full-time week.
As you might have seen in the video above, there are a lot of benefits that come with the workweek paradigm shift. For your convenience, we have listed it again down here.
- Less time working is more time for your mental and physical health and social life. This also leads to a boost to tourism as people have more free leisure time.
- When women and men work the same amount of hours, caring roles traditionally ascribed to women can be divided more equally.
- There will be lower unemployment and underemployment. More people can work, make money and actually work in businesses in their field and at their level.
- For companies it is also a way to afford inflation pay rises. They don’t have to necessarily raise wages as employees will work less hours for the same amount of money (which translates to an hourly raise).
- It’s better for the environment and climate, as people has to commute (drive) less. In the office, the use of paper and electricity will decrease. And people can spend more time on buying fresh products and cook healthy.
- And lastly the one that got mentioned many times earlier: the economical win-win situation. Productivity rises and employees get effectively paid more because they work less hours without a loss of pay.
Inspired by The Guardian