What are the advantages and disadvantages of working 4 days a week?

In the UK, a pilot scheme has started in which more than 3 thousand employees will work 4 days a week for 6 months. Within the scope of the pilot application carried out by the country’s non-profit organisation “4 Day Week Global”, the working hours of 3,300 employees from 70 companies will be shortened by 20 per cent, while their salaries will not be changed.

The four-day-a-week trial will measure the well-being and productivity of employees, as well as the impact of the scheme on the environment and gender equality.

The results of the trial will be evaluated by researchers from Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College.

Researchers in Iceland said in a statement last year that the world’s biggest ever 4-day-a-week trial had resulted in great success and should be tested in the UK as well.

Following the trial, a joint analysis published by the Association for Sustainability and Democracy (Alda) in Iceland and the UK based think-tank “Autonomy” revealed that the trials, which lasted from 2015 to 2019 and involved more than 2,500 people, increased “productivity and well-being”.

So what are the advantages of working 4 days a week?

Happier employees: Everyone loves long weekends, and if it becomes a way of life, all employees will undoubtedly be happier.

Healthier living: Studies show that one out of six people a week suffers from a mental health problem. Taking 3 days off work and making time for private life is beneficial for mental and emotional health.

Savings: Working 4 days a week reduces operating costs while allowing the employees to spend less.

Increased productivity: Healthier and happier employees naturally increase productivity.

Recruitment and retention: New generations who want flexibility are very favourable to the 4-day working option. This trend positively affects their recruitment and retention rates.

What are the disadvantages of working 4 days a week?

–      Working 4 days a week is not suitable for every job. Let’s take the retail industry. The 4-day system that you will apply to office workers is not possible for store employees. Engagement rates will likely drop.

–      Extended working hours are one of the risks of a 4-day working week. There is a possibility of working very hard for 4 days to deserve the long weekend.

–      In sectors where it is not possible to work 4 days a week, labour problems are likely to occur. Such companies will have problems if they do not implement more concrete strategies for employee engagement.

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