As everyone must have known or heard, the recent and on going pandemic (COVID-19) has thrown hospitality industries into chaos and frozen the world from movement. Economies have sunk to record lows. People loosing their jobs and searching for new ones;their days pass like this for a long time until...POP! And new job pops up on the screen.Many people on computers are rushing for that job. Old and tiring working patterns have proved themselves to be unnecessary, and better working areas have emerged. Companies add safety measures to keep their employees safe. Not only the companies and offices add measures, schools effortly try to keep their students safe and think of new ideas to keep schools fun but in a safe way.Especially because of the festive season (christmas)is on the way. But both are trying to do the same job, trying to keep everyone safe and keep the jobs and schools running. Many companies had no choice but to allow people to have flexibility in working days or hours. But have they done this correctly and if not how do you do it correctly, many have asked themselves and others multiple times. So a big question has peered out,could this be the time and age for years-old dreams of a 4-day-working-week to turn into reality?
There have been many arguments on whether having a 4-day-working-week will be good in both mentally, and environmentally. Let us explore on some of the cons and pros of this fantastic idea.
In average the people in UK spend working 36.5 hours a week according to Eurostat. This is higher than the overall Eropean averager of 36.2, but lower than other countries like Romania (40.5 hours), Serbia (42.3 hours) and Bulgaria (40.4 hours).But that does not make us more efficient or instintinctive.
People have been researching about whether having a 4 day week will have a good impact or a bad impact on both the company and employees.Microsoft found that there was a 40% boost in their productivity when it allowed people to have Fridays off in a trial in 2019 . Another research from Henley Business School (last year) found out that 1/3 of the UK business working on a 4-day working week reported that there was improvement in staff productivity.
Mary Ann Stephenson- a volunteer-''A short week allows people to be more gronded and to work with more energy.''.This was soon proved correct with other answers too by a New Zealand based company conducted a trial of a 4-day-work-week.Not only did the employees maintain the same productivity level, but they also showed improvement in productivity, job satisfaction, teamwork, work/life balance and company loyalty. Employees also experienced less stress with a decrease of 45% to 38%.
The result from this studies are not surprising as that some of the world's most productive countries ( Norway, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.They work on an average of 27 hours a week.).
Having a 4-day week will not only help mentally but also environmentally.
A Smaller Carbon Footprint
Countries having a shorter working hours typically have a smaller carbon footprint .So reducing the work week from 5 days to 4 could benefit the environment. Shortening the working week will reduce the numerous trips to employees take to go to work and back home. So this will also improve in an environmental way and the large building needed for office use are only used for the 4- day-week.
A trial conducted bu US state of Utah for gvernment empoyees showed a ecological impact. During the first 10 months, the project saved US over $1.8m(1.36m pounds) in energy costs. The project saved at least 6,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from clossing the large office bildings on Friday. If the employees commutes are also included,Utah estimimated that it could save 12,000 metric tons of CO2.This is equivalent to removing 2,300 cars off the road for 1 year, simply by working 1 day less a week!
When we asked Vivienne Pearson, she said that before becoming a parent, an ''extra day'' allowed time for shopping locally, visting elderly relatives and having a proper hobby alongside relaxation,socialising, housework.
Another idea that has been reviewed within this topic is the lieu-system.This is when the employees have a flexible week. There is the chance of having no work on any day between Monday to Friday. It may vary each week.
Every good idea might always have a bad side of it.This may be that there will be a big disadvantage.
With this idea the only visible disadvantage is that it will be hard for it to be brought in and start getting used to the new working ways.
Also it is worrying because customers are already complaining that they can not call in on the week end (Sunday mostly) so how will they cope if they can not do that on Friday too.
There is a sulution for this. On the week ends we can have already programmed robots to take over and talk to the customers online. This could give a rest to the workers and they would be able to have a worry free week end. Even though robots do not show that much feelings they do make a good cover.
The wrong approch
A company did this but the wrong way. They expected their emloyees to ork longer hours to cover for the days they were off. This made the people lose consentration, productivity lowered and took more ill holidays. So instead of having the average working hours per week, they should make sure that it is kept to normal working hour but with the friday's hours off.
To conclude having a 4-day-week will be better than having the normal. It will be good for the emloyees and can help compenies excelate. If we have this type of working week it can also help keep the people of this world safe from this monster(COVID-19). Having a 4-day-week will help the environment and the employees mental health will increase.