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What are the pros and cons of a four day week? Show more Show less
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Four day weeks should be implemented Show more Show less

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Four day weeks increase productivity

Companies who have adopted four day working weeks have found employees are less stressed and upto 40% more productive when working a four day week. It is averred that the additional day off allows the employee to feel more refreshed when returning.

The Argument

In August 2019, Microsoft tested a four day working week. The company found that productivity jumped by 40%. In New Zealand, a company called Perpetual Guardian also tested the four day week. It found that workers were 7% less stressed and 20% more productive, with a 27% increase in work life balance. Workers are also of the view that they are able to get work done between 5-7 hours a day if they were not interrupted. [1] A third of UK businesses who adapted four day working weeks saw an increase in productivity, and savings for businesses of around £92 billion a year. Staff were happier, less stressed, and took less time off ill. [2]

Counter arguments

Although some companies have found four day weeks to be successful in productivity levels, other companies have found that a four day week has a negative impact. Treehouse, a company that offers virtual coding classes, found that there was a drop in work ethic and therefore discontinued the policy. [3] Some business leaders, such as Amy Finlay, of Edinburgh IFA, suggest that a four day week is unrealistic. Where businesses have small teams, they already struggle to get things done within the five working days, the four working day week would overwhelm many. Ryan Arrindell of Animate Designs argues that it would be hard to have shorter working hours work with the demands for longer opening hours. Bigger companies may be able to cope with this due to their workforce, but smaller ones would not be able to. [4] It is also contended that people may feel more refreshed with an additional day off, but productivity may drop due to working a longer day in a four day week. Where you have a mixture of people working four days and five days, or people on alternate four day shifts, someone on their day off may feel more pressure to respond to e-mails or attend meetings, which may overall reduce productivity.[5]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-four-day-work-week-just-became-permanent-at-this-company-2018-10-06
  2. https://www.wired.co.uk/article/four-day-week-coronavirus
  3. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/11/4-day-work-week-productivity-increase-microsoft/
  4. https://www.forbes.com/sites/barnabylashbrooke/2019/09/27/this-is-what-uk-business-owners-think-of-four-day-work-weeks/?sh=55fe5e4d2239
  5. https://www.thebalancecareers.com/benefits-and-drawbacks-four-day-workweek-4158304
This page was last edited on Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 12:37 UTC

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