ahead 3 thousand employees In 70 English companies they will have an extra day off and they will work only 4 days out of 7 without any reduction salary, In Great Britain The largest experimental “short week” coordinated by the group will begin in the coming weeks “4 Day Week Global”Autonomy think tank and academician from Oxford, Cambridge and Boston College in the United States.
There short week There is a working time model that allows one extra day off per week and reduces hours 40 hours per week, Already successfully implemented in some European states such as Sweden and Iceland.
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benefits of short weeks
The shortened week provides an extra day of rest for the worker, with a reduction of 40 hours per week while maintaining equal pay. The originator of this model insists on a greater balance between personal and work life And he argues that greater worker satisfaction will also bring benefits in terms of productivity. In addition, it is argued that the additional free time will translate into a greater increase in consumption and therefore a positive impact on the economy.
« Concept of the 20th century A five day work week This is no longer the best solution for a 21st century business,” says Charity Bank CEO Ed Siegel, who participated in the pilot project and says moving to a four-day week seems like a “natural move”. « We strongly believe that a four day week without change in salary or benefits will make a Number of Employees Will equally positively impact the company’s productivity, customer experience and our social mission.
Beyond legitimate doubt, if the short week experiment worked in Great Britain it would be a real turning point in the world of dependent work and a model for Europe as a whole.
use in Great Britain
Several companies and charities have joined the trial, starting in Great Britain, including the Royal Society of Biology, London Pressure Drop Brewery, Southampton-based computer game developer Yo Telecom, a Manchester-based medical device company. Fish and Chip Shop in Norfolk.
team of researchers Will study each company involved in the pilot project and assess the impact on employees, including stress and burnout, job and life satisfaction, health, sleep, energy consumption, travel. They will also pursue gender equality with a four-day week designed to benefit women, who make up a large percentage of the workforce who work part-time and flexible.
this is a brave experiment, also because Great Britain is facing labor shortages – especially seasonal ones – which have pushed up waiters’ wages, jobs in which workers are becoming increasingly difficult to find. There were also those who declared logistical problems in distribution due to consequences on the supply system, potentially empty shelves in supermarkets and reduced staff working hours.
Pandemic and the “Great Resignation”
But how did we come to talk about a shorter week? probably played an important role there EpidemicWhich has challenged the traditional working model with the wide spread of smart working40 hours 5 days a week Shifting the focus from working hours to the actual work done. The resignation surge after the pandemic was a wake-up call that indicated things may not remain the same: A good salary is no longer enough, but companies must guarantee retaining skilled workers. More flexibility and balance with privacy, A recent survey indicates that the UK tops the list of countries where workers prefer to quit their jobs instead of going back to work in the office 5 days a week, leaving smart work.
Iceland, Spain and Scotland: how the shortening week works in Europe
past experiments Has shown very positive results: In August 2019, Microsoft Japan started a four-day week giving its 2,300 employees five consecutive free Fridays. the company said productivity Is increased by 40% And 9 out of 10 employees said they prefer shorter workweeks.
me too Iceland The experiment conducted between 2015 and 2019 ended with a “tremendous success”. Participating workplaces reduced their weekly hours from 40 to 35 and showed increased productivity.
In Germany This model has been adopted by start-ups and small businesses, given that the average weekly working hours are already low (a German works on average about 34.2 hours per week). Similar experiments will take place in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, while government-backed trials begin this week in Spain and Scotland.
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