Could a Four-Day Workweek Boost Productivity? One UK Study Says YES
Mar 2, 2023   •   Edgardo Toledo
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Mar 2, 2023   •   Edgardo Toledo
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the workplace industry in more ways than one. It took a lockdown for companies to realize that working from home could be just as productive as reporting to the office. It also sparked many employee’s desire for a four-day workweek, a policy that’s currently gaining momentum and support in other countries like the UK. Is this the start of a new era of more comfortable workplace arrangements? Well, one research indicates the 4-day work week is showing promise.
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One UK study noticed impressive results following a four-day work week trial. Over 60 companies and nearly 3,000 workers participated in the trial that went on from June to December 2022. After the trial, 56 organizations decided to continue the four-day work week format, with 18 of them ensuring they’d implement it permanently.
Moreover, shorter working hours didn’t affect the companies’ revenue, which stayed relatively the same throughout the pilot period, increasing by 1.4% on average. When compared to previous years, organizations even reported revenue increases of 35% on average. Wow!
The organizations that participated in the experiment experienced a notable decrease in employee turnover. Work stress also declined over the trial run, with 71% of employees citing lower levels of work burnout.
More employees also reported improvements in their physical and mental health. There was a huge decrease in workers who experienced anxiety and negative emotions.
Meanwhile, 40% of participating employees experienced less prevalence of insomnia and general sleep problems, while 60% of workers said that balancing social and household obligations had become easier.
Belgium has recently approved the four-day work week setup for citizens under a series of labor market reforms. Employees can work four days a week for six months, and they have the option to continue the arrangement or go back to a five-day week with no negative consequences.
In Asia, Japanese conglomerate Panasonic is set to launch an optional four-day work week schedule for its employees to foster a healthier work-life balance. Singaporeans have also expressed interest in work opportunities that give three-day weekends.
Let’s be real, Filipinos are some of the most stressed workers. And there’s actual data to back that up! According to the State of the Global Workplace survey, the Philippines ranked the most stressed in Southeast Asia, with 50% of participants saying they were stressed. The country also scored 24% in the daily sadness and 32% in the daily anger categories.
Although only a few local organizations like the Civil Service Commission (CSC) have embraced this alternative working program, one can only hope that more will follow suit. With so many young talents looking for employees that respect work-life balance, it won’t hurt companies if they start looking into the struggles and well-being of their employees.
What are your thoughts on the four-day work week schedule? Comment them down below!
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