Should workplaces adopt the four-day work week?
This is one of the latest workplace buzzes and has been much disputed in society. In many nations, a 3-day weekend consisting of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday has been a common practice for years. It was said that this has given a rise in employees’ motivation, resulting in an outburst in productivity.
Could the four-day work week be a superior practice among the other workplaces’ practices?
What the Research Says
Research has shown that this practice would put forward flexibility as well as productivity of employees. Many countries including Australia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), the UK, and Belgium have offered four-day work week options and have undergone trials to examine how employees respond to the practice. Consequently, it has achieved outstanding working performance from employees. Beyond the performances, physical and mental health was also improved as people have gotten more rest during their time off. On top of this, these trials have also highlighted the positive change in employees’ stress levels, management of work-life balance, and flexibility.
Over the years, statistics have shown that there are extreme fluctuations in the stress level of workers and burned out. However, during the four-day work week, stress levels became more obviously stable, which then contributed to employers having better mental health. This helped lure in more talent, whilst increasing productivity amongst their team.
The Pros and Cons
The two concepts of the four-day work week practices have driven continuous discussion and arguments in the workplace:
- The first concept would be shifting from full-time to part-time. Full-time workers would shift from 35 working hours down to 28 working hours, whilst having 3 break days, and a loss in pay.
- The second concept is a compressed work schedule. This simply means that employees work 35 hours over 4 days instead of 5 days, and get a 3-day break.
Both these concepts have huge differences in both pros and cons. Some people believe that reducing working hours may cause a decline in sales and revenue of the company as the output of work would be lesser. However, some believe that it would balance out as productivity has increased compared to the usual working hour practices.
Considering the benefits and drawbacks and other possible factors of the four-day work week practices, would you consider adopting a four-day work week or not?