A breif history
The eight-hour workday was a common practice back in 1850. So the idea of reducing workdays is not new. An eight-hour workday was invented by American labor unions in the 1800s and went mainstream by Henry Ford in the 1920s. Workers today are still prepared to accept the same shifts because we have become so accustomed to it.
The eight-hour day was the first topic discussed by the International Labor Organization. Eight Hour day marches became a regular social event each year, with early demonstrations often restricted to those who had won an eight-hour day. Soon, this debate had to stop because not every business can be good with the idea of working hours any less than eight.
Compressed work schedule
A perk that persuades the idea of a four day work week was not only the flexible working hours but the cost reduction and the increase in productivity, which was benefiting both the employee and the employer.
Plymouth based Portcullis Legals also gained significant media exposure in 2019 following their conversion to the four-day working week while increasing pay following a 5-month trial and colleague consultation. Portcullis Legals highlighted improvement with productivity and stress levels among staff while providing higher satisfaction levels among its clients.
Microsoft Japan conducted a trial 4-day work week in summer 2019, granting workers paid leave on Fridays. At the same time, It cut the length of most meetings from a full hour to half an hour and capped attendance at five employees. For the duration of the trial, the company reported a 23% reduction in electricity costs.
What is holding the implementation?
The idea sounds appealing and happens to have shown such productivity in the organizations implemented for trial. What is taking so long for worldwide implementation?
The nature of every business varies. The idea requires proper consideration. Although this practice is not new, yet the implementation is not acceptable by all the industries. Not everyone is adaptive. Most of the employers lack faith in their employees. A non-profit making organization has also made in support of the idea of a 4-day workweek. The data available on this concept is very few tho very inspiring and promising. And those who want to follow this medium need to be sure of what they are getting in.
Should your company implement a 4-day workweek?
It’s not easy, to sum up this question, plus there is no universal answer for all the companies — it depends on the business’s needs. Every business type has its requirements, so this standardization of a 4-day workweek is not possible.