The Happier You Work the More We Explain Why You Need a 4-Day Work Week

The Happier You Work the More We Explain Why You Need a 4-Day Work Week

“Offering a competitive salary today is not enough, we need to start offering workers a better life”, thus Julian Ciravo on behalf of 4DayWeek explains how the 4-day work week project that more and more countries are adopting. have been born.

More and more countries and companies are choosing to join the experiment four day work week Started by a non-profit association 4 day week global, For a certain period, employees of companies, who voluntarily decide to participate in the project, reduce their working hours to a maximum of four days a week. All without pay cut.

An experiment born before the pandemic to meet the needs of companies and workers in particular as he does on tell to Julian Siravo, From autonomyOn behalf of 4DW, an independent research body: “Offering a competitive salary today is not enough, you have to start over provide workers a better life, More hours and more days in the office do not represent greater productivity: this analogy does not exist, it has never been demonstrated. Experiments conducted so far in different countries have shown us that productivity in the companies involved in the project has never decreased, in fact it has increased in some cases, because happy workers work better”.

How do you manage 4dayweek project?
Running one in the UK involving 70 companies and 3,000 employees, we follow them up with a series of workshops and, together with researchers from Cambridge and Boston, we work together to analyze results, evaluate productivity, and interact with both employees. And take care of conducting separate interviews. Management level. Interviews are conducted at the beginning, middle and end of the six months of the project. In addition to these interviews, the researchers will have productivity data provided by each company.

How did such an experiment come about?
This is a project that we have been working on for some time, before the pandemic and which was born because the needs of workers have changed and so companies need to understand how not to let their employees run away. Today, giving competitive salary is not enough, we have to start providing better life to the workers.

During the pandemic, a culture of denial of work has grown. Let me give you an example: There are many fields that pay much less and have more hours than they do and are having a hard time finding workers.

Can a short work week be adopted?
The first sector to be involved is the public sector which should be a leader in this. The turning point can come only when you adopt a four-day week among the masses. The United Kingdom is actually the largest experiment ever conducted that will bring us the most significant results, such as making 4DW common practice.

Why should a company adopt a 4-day work week?
Research has shown so far that the productivity of companies that have adopted it has never decreased, in fact it has increased in some cases, as happier workers work better. One of the companies that demonstrates this notion is Microsoft.

It is obviously not a simple thing for a company to change organization, but it is about possible change, rearrangement, which will not cause any kind of problem. Furthermore, what we have observed is that workers interested in seeing this type of organization work are the first to commit themselves to making it efficient.

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That’s why we’ve been educated in the wrong culture of work
Of course, the culture you’ve been educated in is meant to show that you stay at work more and therefore work more. This is purely a cultural question. The four-day workday is an opportunity to reflect on how many hours you spend at work and if you really need to spend all those hours at the office. More hours do not represent more productivity: this equivalence does not exist, it has never been demonstrated.

Which countries have participated in this project so far?
One of the first to experience the work week was the regional government of Valencia, we cooperate a lot with the Icelandic trade unions, with whom we have drafted the report which provides useful data for the first 4dayweek, we And talking to the Scottish governments that they seem to be quite interested in. The interest of the British government is low but we are trying to take it for hegemony.

The most successful experiment is Icelandic. Did the participating companies then definitely adopt 4DW?
yes, after the pilot Iceland The unions first agreed to have 4DW for participants and then to work out new agreements and negotiation mechanisms that would allow 86 percent of Iceland’s workforce to switch to the shorter week.

Can a 4-day work week be implemented in Italy?
Absolutely yes. There came a time when it was also proposed but nothing was ever done. Short Work Weeks Can Always Be Done: There is no one formula that works for everyone, but everyone can find the one that best suits their needs.

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Should a company that decides to adopt a shorter week be enforced by its employees?
In some cases, yes, but not in the majority. In those cases it would invest more in wages, but it wouldn’t have much of an impact on companies’ profits — especially the profits of larger companies. In December 2020 we conducted a study that estimated the ‘worst-case scenario’ for UK companies and found that in general, companies can hire more employees without recording losses.

What is the goal of this experiment?
Understanding how to implement a short work week in different sectors of the economy and creating a strategy for each one. We want to collect most of the data so that there is a thesis that can support the adoption of 4DW. And I would like to say one thing: we did not contact the companies involved in the project, it was they who wanted to participate and this indicates that they are the first to change something.

Need for change in work culture
The only country where people work more than England is Greece, Italy is also included in the countries where they work a lot. And Greece is a demonstration of what we said earlier that longer working hours do not represent a productive economy. But it is a cultural problem, especially in countries with the so-called “Lax Complex”, where there is always a feeling of not doing enough. Greece is one of those countries where everyone thinks they are not working enough, and in fact it is one of the countries where people work the most. But the country’s economy does not reflect this perception.


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