4 DAYS WORKING WEEK: A new future for workers?
Lately, everyone has been talking about the new interesting proposal of the short working week: 4 days of work and 3 days off. Looks like a dream too good to be true. How is such a choice even possible? Why would a company allow its staff to work only four days a week? Will the business suffer as a result? You may thank your new robot coworkers for that.
Artificial intelligence (AI) will fundamentally alter every industry in every country, including how and when we work. Remote and more flexible work schedules, such as the four-day work week, are anticipated to become more popular shortly. A four-day workweek, according to the TUC (Trade Union Congress), might become a reality if firms share the advantages of new technologies with their employees.
HOW DOES THE PROJECT WORK
A four-day workweek isn’t a compressed work schedule, but rather reduced hours. So, the employee would work around 28 hours over four days and have a three-day weekend.
The concept is simple: people would work four days a week for the same pay and benefits, but with the same workload.
Companies that reduce their workweek would have fewer meetings and more solo work as a result.
BENEFITS OF THE PROJECT
Stanford University conducted a thorough investigation on the relationship and productivity and discovered a clear link between the two. Overworked employees are less productive than those who work an average week.
Moreover, Employees who work a four-day week are happier and more devoted. Because employees have plenty of time to rest and recover, they are less likely to be anxious or take sick absence. As a result, they return to work eager to tackle new problems.
Last but not least, countries with shorter working hours have a lower carbon footprint, so cutting our workweek from five to four days could help the environment. Employees don't have to commute as much, and office buildings are only used four days a week as a result of the shorter workweek.
A trial undertaken by the US state of Utah for government employees found that decreasing the average workweek from five to four days utilizing a compressed work schedule had a substantial environmental impact. The approach saved about US$1.8 million (£1.36 million) in energy expenditures in the first ten months and reduced at least 6,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions by closing the enormous office complex on Fridays.
COUNTRIES THAT ALREADY ADOPTED THE PLAN
This project is not just an idea anymore. Indeed, many European countries have embraced it.
Belgian employees obtained the opportunity to complete a full workweek in four days rather than the typical five without losing pay last month.
Employees will have the option of working four or five days per week, but this does not mean they will work less; rather. Instead, their working hours will be compressed into fewer days.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo hopes that the agreement would help to make Belgium's notoriously tight labor market more flexible, allowing people to balance their personal and professional life.
Belgium is not the only one that adopted the initiative, indeed in the UK a six-month pilot program, the largest of its type, began recruiting employers in January to investigate the impact of reduced working hours on corporate productivity and employee well-being, as well as the environment and gender equality.
Employees will be able to work up to 9.5 hours per day, or 9 a.m., under the reform.
Between 2015 and 2019, Iceland completed the world's largest experiment of a 35 to 36-hour workday (rather than the traditional 40 hours) with no calls for wage cuts.
The study also resulted in considerable changes in Iceland, with approximately 90% of the working population now having reduced hours or other accommodations as a result of the research.
Researchers found that work stress and burnout lessened and there was an improvement in life-work balance.
Although not every country shared Iceland’s success in the project, like Sweden which received mixed results from the trial, the idea is brilliant and has shown countless benefits.
Indeed, there is a strong interest in Canada and the USA and even in Japan to adopt this solution.
Will this be the future of the workers? What would be the long-term beneficial economically and personally speaking?
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