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Calls for a 4-day week are likely to go unheeded

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hugh.fox
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FRANCES O’GRADY, the head of Britain’s Trades Union Congress, threw down a gauntlet on September 10th. “We can win a four-day working week,” she told members. While partly a reflection of the emboldened state of Britain’s unions, the demand is far from unprecedented. Shorter working weeks have been tried in New Zealand and Sweden, where they resulted in happier, healthier and more motivated employees. Those who work shorter weeks are also reported to be more productive. Should weekends, therefore, be lengthened? https://www.economist.com/the-economist-explains/2018/09/21/why-the-weekend-isnt-longer
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hugh.fox
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It's safe to say that by Friday most of us are extremely fatigued and unproductive and spend a majority of the day just counting down to the weekend. Companies could actually save on salaries if the weekend was lengthened, and I strongly believe it would actually lead to a more productive workforce
7 mths
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Are longer weekends achievable and do you believe it would contribute to employee satisfaction as well?
7 mths
ella.torres
ella.torres followed this discussion
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It is achievable in this century. In this respect, French pave the way but to achieve better results it would be ideal if there was at least an agreement on the EU level. Then other countries (from OECD) can happily join.
7 mths
Host
When I was 50 and working 5 day weeks, I was on the verge of retiring. Work was becoming boring and I felt less energized. My boss agreed to a 4 day week. My wife also got similar. Our relationship is stronger than ever. I look forward to the challenges of work, each Monday, more completely refreshed than 2 days could ever offer. Thoughts of fully retiring have passed. My boss' boss keeps hinting that I should go back to 5 days. My skills are in high demand and they would happily take 8 days per week of my time. However, at this point, I would retire rather than go back to 5 days.
7 mths
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I'm in favor of a four day workweek. I do have an issue with putting it into a law though. In markets where there is already a shortage of labor, this shortage could be worsened, potentially putting pressure on important professions (e.g. nurses and doctors). Although I am confident that this will self-correct after a while, we shouldn't underestimate the short term effects.
7 mths
Host
Making people happier and more productive is something worth pursuing in my opinion. If limiting the workweek to four days can help us achieve that, then I think we should try it
7 mths
Host
I'm in favor of a four day workweek. I do have an issue with putting it into a law though. In markets where there is already a shortage of labor, this shortage could be worsened, potentially putting pressure on important professions (e.g. nurses and doctors). Although I am confident that this will self-correct after a while, we shouldn't underestimate the short term effects.
Also, it may limit people who actually like to work long hours and it could limit the effectiveness of people in key positions in the company, as these usually require more time to do.
There is a challenge for current or new companies here, why not give it a shot and see how it works?
6 mths
Host
This is a very good point, but requires changing the wrong paradigm of the last 15 years: that the purpose of the country is to make life easier for big corporations. As a result, big companies are not very interested in retaining good workers, because they can overwork the existing ones and look for fresh ones in some other country. Countries no longer care whether workers might contribute some out-of work but valuable to the country. It is paradoxical, but typical for the 2010's imbalance of power of big companies versus countries.
6 mths
Host
With happier staff, companies likely have a better retention rate, making them better able to retain talent.
6 mths
Host
When people have more 'free time' this could be spent on several activities that have potential benefits for Society at large, the first thing that comes to mind is volunteering, but it's also not unlikely that it will create more room for would-be entrepreneurs.
6 mths
Host
With happier staff, companies likely have a better retention rate, making them better able to retain talent.
Happier people are known to have less health issues, which can help to curb healthcare expenditures.
6 mths
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10 more people followed this discussion
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Although I agree that there seems to have been a shift in favor of big corporations , I don't think the corporations are uninterested in the well being of their staff. There are more and more examples of companies actually taking good care of their staff and they are rewarded by being able to retain talent. It may take some time, but I'm positive that we will be in a better place in the future.
6 mths
Host
I'm definitely for it as well, as a mother and wife, I could do with an extra day in the weekend. It will make it easier for us as parents to combine parenthood and additional jobs if necessary, which will likely increase available income in families and the total productivity of the society.
6 mths
Host
I've found it surprizing that vacations haven't been replaced by the 4-day week. A day when you need it is better than a week of"work-away-from-work".
6 mths