After 6 months of testing and with the participation of 3,000 employees, the United Kingdom can give the green light to the four-day-a-week work proposal organized by the 4 Day Week Global Foundationtogether with researchers from the universities of Boston and Cambridge, in England. This will allow workers the right to request in each company the elimination of one day a week or to have eight hours spread over the five dayss.
“The economy no longer requires each of us to work five days a week. It was 100 years ago that the jump to that number of workdays was made and, since then, the economy has been completely transformed, ”said Joe Ryle, one of the directors of the 4 Day Week Campaign.
What was the result of this experiment?
The pilot plan lasted six months and, upon completion, of the 61 companies, 56 said they would continue with the 32-hour week. The experiment was based on the model known as 100-80-100. 100% of the salary is maintained, reduce the working day to 80% and maintain at least 100% productivity.
What were the benefits for the workers?
The workers reported that during the six months that the experiment lasted they felt that their quality of life improved. Among the benefits they noted was that their quality of sleep was more restful and they felt less stressed. That caused his personal life and mental health to have an optimal balance.
As for the companies, their income was maintained, the productivity of their employees was not affected, sick leave and resignations decreased. Proponents of this way of working say it could help reduce carbon emissions and health care costs.
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“As we emerge from the pandemic, more and more companies recognize that the new way to be competitive is to offer a better quality of life to their employees, and that reducing the number of hours and focusing more on the work produced was the ideal way. to achieve that competitive advantage,” explained Joe O’Connor, executive director of the foundation, when the trial was launched.
At the end of the experiment, company managers said they couldn’t imagine going back to a five-day week. The conclusion reached by the foundation 4 Day Week Global was that a four-day work week improves workers’ productivity and also their quality of life.
Which countries have a four-day workday?
In New Zealandthe Perpetual Guardian company approved the four-day work week since 2018 and Unilever did so in 2021. In the midst of a pandemic and with the country’s borders sealed, the Prime Minister, jacinda ardernpromised to extend it to the entire territory to promote internal tourism and the economy.
SwedenFor its part, it tried reducing the working day in 2015 in several elderly care centers, a sector that finds it difficult to recruit staff. The 70 nurses who participated reported less sick leave, better health conditions, and increased productivity.
However, the results were questioned due to their high costs and were discarded by the Government, although some companies, including ToyotaThey keep it to this day.
In JapanMicrosoft applied the four-hour working day and verified that workers improved their productivity by up to 40% and increased sales, while reducing electricity and paper ink costs.
In USAthe company Basecamp implemented it during the summer. Spain It also joined the boom with the company DelSol Software, whose workers have been practicing this scheme for several years, which has resulted in higher performance, billing and less absenteeism.
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), overwork generates losses of up to 3% of GDP.