Community Talks! Vol. 1, ep. 19.
The big debate: is a 4-day work-week beneficial for everyone involved? I’m sure we’ve all heard about the controversial 4-day work week debate, and the companies and countries that are testing the theory. As you can imagine there have been mixed results—some seeing positive results and others negative.
It’s not a new idea. But it seems to have come to light again amidst the covid-19 pandemic, which has generated a new work-from-home mindset and/or hybrid office implementation.
The standard full-time work week in Sweden consists of around 37-40 hours per week. However, with a 4-day work week, employees will need to get the same amount of work done, but in less time.
The employee advantages are clear: its 1 day less of work and 1 day more of personal time. But how about for the employer?
So, to get some answers, I turn to my “trustworthy” friend Google. And what do the people of the internet have to say?
Well, it seems that employers are concerned that the amount of work completed would decrease because employees need to get the same things done, but again, in less time. This can lead to increased stress and pressure on employees. Secondly, there is potential to miss out on opportunities. If businesses are closed for an extra day a week, they miss out on networking and collaboration opportunities with other businesses and customers. Most people are still likely to conduct business during the week when other businesses are open, even if yours is not.
So which companies are implementing a 4-day work week? Here are some examples:
- Microsoft Japan.
And trials are continuing in countries like New Zealand and Spain, whereas Japan’s government actually recommends it nationwide. However, Sweden tested the concept in 2015 and felt it was too expensive to adopt. But some companies did still reduce overall work hours.
So, lets break it down:
- Improvement of mental health.
- More time to spend with family.
- Employee retention.
- More time spent pursuing interests and hobbies.
- Companies benefit from decreased worker burnout.
- Not all industries can participate.
- Possible missed opportunities for the company.
- Deadlines not being met – which can in turn increase stress.
So, what do you think of a 4-day work week? Is it the reality of our future or simply a fad that will pass?
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