Experts Claim a 4-Day Working Week Switch – It Would Have Benefits for Everyone
Most people have a standard five-day working week (eight hours a day). Still, a considerable amount of experts claim, that this work schedule is obsolete and it’s time to switch to a four-day working week as soon as possible.
That was the point of discussions during the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos.
Adam Grant, a psychologist at the Wharton School, Pennsylvania, is sure that the reduction of working days would lead to more effective work, higher quality and creativity of employees. In other words, a more flexible schedule would raise the productivity of workers and help to balance their life.
Rutger Bregman, an economist and historian, agrees with the position. He argues that politicians and managers should find a way to help people work less, but more productive. Furthermore, Henry Ford found that a shorter working week helped his employees to be happy and fulfill work carefully.
Even global international organizations advocate this point.
The International Labor Organization has proposed to impose the four-day working week recently. The experts are sure, that reducing working time would have benefits both for employees and employers.
The shorter working week would allow employees to avoid health problems such as cardiovascular diseases, problems with the abdominal distension, sexual dysfunction and anxiety disorders.
Reducing working hours would enable people to spend more time with their family members, and diminish stress level. According to numerous studies, an irregular working day is the main cause of work-family conflict. A 4-days working week would increase employee’s motivation, lessen the risk of absenteeism and job burnout.
For an employer, the four-day week also will be economically beneficial, in addition to healthy and happy employees with an adjusted personal life. The four-day week would help to avoid staffing cut in case of an economic crisis and stabilize the company.
Denmark, Norway, Sweden are at the top-ranking countries with the least busy work schedule.
The top-10 also includes the Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria and Italy. The working week lasts no more than 33 hours in Denmark, Norway, Sweden. In Germany, Switzerland and Belgium it is 35 hours, in France – up to 36 hours.
Japan case is also interesting: this state is always considered as a country of workaholics, but the government has been encouraging to switch to a 4-day working week all Japan companies over the last years. So employees rest for 2 full days (Saturday and Sunday) as before and have an extra 4 hours before and after the weekend. And the total free days last from Friday noon till Morning afternoon.
A special experiment was held in New Zeland. In the spring of 2018, Perpetual Guardian Company switched to the four-day working week, but the salary remained the same. The experiment was lasting six weeks and finally, it was decided to keep the four-day working week.
The researches noticed that employees had reduced stress level and improved performance. In addition, the staff stopped complaining about the inability to find a balance between work and personal life.
The most often arguments against the shorter week is a fear of failing to complete referral tasks in due time. But recent survey points to the contrary.
More than 3,000 workers from eight countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany participated in the discovery. The results show that about half of the respondents could easily fulfill their work duties for five hours a day. However, most of us continue to work more than 40 hours a week.
With this in mind, we truly hope that the companies really will be switched to the four-day workweek in the nearest future.
And how much time do you work: 4 or 5 days per week?