Will Our Lives Be Better With Four Days Week?
By Space Coast Daily // January 31, 2020
Hundreds of companies across the world are trying out 4-days week and shorter working hours. And they find that such an approach is good not only for workers but also for customers and the company’s wellbeing.
There is much evidence that a shorter workweek may boost the productivity of members and lead to happiness and relaxed atmospheres in the office.
Look around on Fridays: more and more people are filling up playgrounds and malls because they are adopting a four-day week instead of a regular 5-days one, which was adopted back in 1926.
However, there are still many skeptics, who believe that people are not ready for a shorter workweek and this may lead to multiple negative consequences. When having more time people tend to drink and gamble more, play video games or even commit crimes.
In addition, due to low wages and high prices people don’t have enough savings to afford more days off or early retirement. Most likely people will be looking for additional ways of earning money if they have a shorter workweek. So how is it possible to find the right balance and to make people satisfied with the workload? Let’s take a look at the examples.
4 Days Week: Reality or Utopia
If you try to find a person, who wouldn’t want to have a shorter workweek, you will most likely fail. According to the latest survey, 88% of Canadians would agree on a 4-days week if offered. But is it really possible?
Our culture of overtime is harmful to work-life balance and overall health but we still can’t imagine living with so much free time even though resent results of the Japanese research have proven benefits of a shorter workweek.
Several weeks ago, Microsoft has told about the implementation of a shorter workweek in Japanese offices. They claim that the productivity of the workers has increased by 40 percent after they had Fridays off (salaries remained the same). However, Microsoft wasn’t the first to try out a 4-days week approach.
In 2018, Perpetual Guardian from New Zealand gave their 250 employees a chance to work four days a week with the same salary. They saw a significant boost in productivity, lower stress levels, and bigger satisfaction from work.
But the approach seems unrealistic for the Canadian market: people tend to work much and once they stop, they don’t know what to do with their lives. This may lead to self-destruction, stress, and even harm to the community.
Such an approach may also influence 24/7 industries. For example, the best online betting sites in Finland should obligatory provide their players with reliable customer service but where the managers will be if they have a 4-days week?
How to Achieve It
According to the Angus Reid Poll, almost half of Canadians believe that a 4-days week is a good idea. It is a positive solution both for employees and company owners because it encourages workers to use time effectively, to eliminate unnecessary costs and practices.
This subject was also discussed by the new 34-year old Finnish prime minister, Sanna Marin in August. She said that it would be beneficial for companies and workers to shorten the workweek and give people more time for leisure, personal life, and family matters.
However, after becoming a prime minister in December it seems that Marin has changed her mind, as there is no mentioning of the 4-days week in the Finnish Government program.
According to official sources, there haven’t been any discussions on the topic and a corresponding official statement was made on Twitter. If Finland, the happiest nation in the world that is famous for a perfect life-work balance, isn’t rushing towards a 4-days week, do we have a single change to implement the practice in Canada?
Future of the 4 Days Week
At first glance, a 4-days week seems a great idea: you work less, get the same salary, and have enough time for your personal life. However, everything is not so simple and a decision whether to apply this practice or not should be based on thorough research, cultural differences, and willingness of all the participants.
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