Is the era of working 5 days a week over? | lifestyle
Some countries and companies are considering applying the 4 days a week working system instead of 5.
Many countries and companies around the world are exploring the possibility of working 4 days a week instead of 5, realizing that people don’t need to be forced to work from their desks 5 days a week to be efficient and productive. These flexible work options that once seemed impractical are gaining acceptance in many countries.
Could this be the end of the working week as we have known it for decades? Does working 4 days a week weaken or increase productivity? How will this affect the health and well-being of employees, achieving a work-life balance, giving them more time to take care of their children and family, pursue their hobbies and spend more time with family and friends? Will all this have a negative or positive effect?
The Netherlands and Germany have the shortest working weeks in Europe, but they are among the most productive countries. When Microsoft Japan experimented with a 4-day work week, productivity increased by 40% and everyone was happier too.
British writer Richard Goodwin discusses this question at length in a report he published in the British newspaper “The Guardian” a few days ago, listing the advantages of working 4 days a week, considering it to be the solution. to everything from chronic productivity problems in Britain to health ailments, the mentality has spread across the country, to the crippled health sector, provided wages are not cut.
And the writer thinks this system is also better for the planet, “when we’re tired, we drive our cars more, then we increase environmental pollution, we eat more processed foods, and we buy more disposable items and things, and all of that affects our health and the health of our planet.” .
Less work more productive
Goodwin is referring to a recent experiment, in which 70 UK companies cut working hours by 20% without any pay cuts, and the results of this experiment will be published next month. But at the midpoint, 95% of companies said they had maintained or improved productivity, and 88% said they would continue after the trial ended.
“We really like an extra day out of the office to come back fresh… It’s been great for our well-being, and we’re definitely more productive now,” said a general manager.
Similar experiments are happening now in Scotland and Wales. Last October, a British Labor MP presented a proposal to reduce the maximum working week from 48 to 32 hours.
“All the evidence shows you’re more productive in 4 days, not 5,” says Joe Ryle, a 4-Day Week campaigner. “People are naturally more efficient, and we have a lot of evidence now. We hope that 2023 will be the year when we pass the experimental stages, and generalize the application of this matter to the whole country”, according to the Guardian newspaper.
As for the American economic magazine “Forbes”, it evokes in a report the first study of this type in Iceland, where two experiments were carried out with more than 2,500 civil servants, representing more than 1% of the total working population of the country. , which went from a 40-hour work week to a 35-hour work week, and what the study found was that working fewer hours doesn’t hurt productivity and, in fact, people are more productive.
Employees reported feeling less stressed and said their health, well-being and work-life balance had improved significantly. They also reported having more time and energy for other activities such as playing sports and hobbies they had long neglected due to exhaustion, meeting friends, and being able to spend more time with their family and children.
Similar experiments are being carried out by companies and employers in various parts of the world, including companies in New Zealand and the United States, and in-depth experiments are being carried out in Spain, Ireland, Scotland, Canada and Sweden, and politicians in Japan and New Zealand expressed support for this approach.
3 days a week
The MSN platform has tackled the same problem from another angle, that of the hybrid business model which is now widely applied in the United States and other countries around the world. According to this system, the employees only work 3 days in the office, from Tuesday to Thursday, while they have 4 free days in some of which they can practice at work if necessary, but they are generally outside the offices, and they have great freedom of movement, travel and other activities of their lives.
“This Friday-Monday out-of-office pattern is very attractive to new hires and has become a major weapon for business,” said Nick Bloom, an economics professor at Stanford University. weekends, but it gives them the flexibility to travel while working if needed.
“Mondays and Tuesdays are the fastest growing travel days of the week, with many people treating regular weekends as long weekends,” says Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky.
In short, the usual 5-day work week may turn into something strange, and it will eventually be replaced by a 3-day work week only, according to MSN in its report.