Relevance of the Four-Day Workweek

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Introduction

This short report will discuss the pros and cons of introducing a four-day week. The purpose of this article is to put the introduction of the four-day workweek in perspective and try to analyze the multifaceted and ambiguous aspects of this problem through the study of publications and research. The paper attempts to draw conclusions about the possibility and necessity of four-day working week and identify shortcomings that need to be addressed. The report reveal the concept of the four-day work week and its analogs tested abroad on the following four pages. The study looks into the possibility of this establishment to improve the quality of people’s work and boost business. In this discussion, the paper refers to numerous economics-specific articles and studies designed to address the relevance of this proposal.

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Analysis of Four-Day Week

What is the four-day week?

The number of cases of burnout of employees of various companies is gradually increasing, and consequently the productivity of companies is decreasing. Burnout or simply tired employees are less proactive, less productive, and the quality of their work is worse. Therefore, governments and organizations need to find the optimal work-life balance. A shorter working week, if adequately rationed, will translate into more productive and intensive work and higher labor productivity.

Advantages of Four-Day Week

One of the most apparent benefits of establishment a four-day workweek is optimizing work and enlarging worker productivity. Having more time for rest, employees will not be engaged in extraneous business in the office, and their attention will be entirely devoted to working. Thus, the CEO of Polar and his introduction during the pandemic and then “has dramatically decreased the number of meetings” (Lindzon, 2020). This was the impetus for introducing a system where workers could take a day off every second Friday. This approach reduced employee burnout and helped increase employee productivity. However, not all employers are seeing a rise in efficiency, and some report “an increase no change in productivity” (David Olive: Get ready for the four-day work week, an idea whose time has come, 2021). Thus, the debate over the relevance of the introduction of a shortened workweek continues.

Three days off give employees more time for their hobbies, creative development, additional training, and self-improvement. All of this can positively impact work and increase the level of satisfaction with the company culture (Dawson, 2020). Thus, “88 per cent of Canadians would take a four-day work week if their employer offered it” (Rodriguez, 2019). There is also positive evidence for such a decline in Iceland, where scientists report greater employee satisfaction with the company after introducing a four-day workweek (Elliot, 2021). Therefore, such statistics can argue about the relevance of introducing a new system.

Disadvantages of Four-Day Week

However, scientists also cite the disadvantages of a shortened workweek. The researchers note that being productive for 10 hours a day is a daunting task (Effron, 2020). Not every person can complete it, and as a result, the transition to four days can reduce the organization’s productivity (Badelt, 2021). After leaving for a four-day week, the increase in labor productivity falls after a while because, at first, a person experiences joy and euphoria from the working week’s shortening and then gets used to it. Moreover, shortening the workweek without reducing the number of hours worked leads to increased fatigue levels on workdays.

Late return home can negatively affect the personal life of employees: they pay less attention to children, spouses, parents, meet with friends less often and relax outside the apartment. Disruption to the ordinary course of life is one of the main disadvantages of a four-day workweek (Marks, 2021). This leads to the constant stress of completing a task in the evening or in four days instead of five, which can cause apathy and reduce work efficiency.

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Many researchers note the importance of the entire week as a whole and not just an extra day off. Against the introduction of a four-day week is that employees will be tired during an 11-hour workday. Therefore, the more relevant introduction they make is reducing working hours throughout the week. The German company Rheingans Digital Enabler, which has 16 employees, has moved to a 5-hour workday without holding more than 15 minutes of meetings (Effron, 2020). At the same time, the company was prohibited from conducting third-party conversations and using the phone. However, such a system is only effective for employees with hourly rates, since if the employer requires the employee to work 40 hours per week, such an introduction is not possible.

Nevertheless, some researchers do not highlight this approach’s positive or negative aspects. They conclude that even if productivity increases at first, it returns to its original level after a certain period. At the same time, they also mention that people do not have more free time, which they could do after work they carry over to the extra day-off. Thus, the approach to introducing additional output may turn out to be irrelevant due to the bias of the positive aspects.

Unanswered Questions

The prospect of introducing a four-day week leaves unresolved questions that are also important for understanding the argumentation of this innovation. Some, especially non-governmental companies, can reduce the salary of their employees by reducing the working week. Thus, a natural question may arise about preventing a reduction in wages to employees and preserving their original jobs and statuses. Moreover, a gap remains in the areas of workweek reduction. Provided that it is not so tricky for office and remote workers to introduce a shortened week, shop workers and such professions as metallurgist or social worker remain. A four-day workweek for these professions is not possible, leading to tension and envy in the community.

The articles became the mainstay of this paper in considering the four-day system. The formats of reports on the advantages and disadvantages of an introduction differ in short and informative language. They summarize the pros and cons, and the authors provide relevant examples for an in-depth look at the problem. At the end of the articles, the details of the paper are provided to help you understand if a resource is relevant to a chosen topic. Thus, the articles’ organization and structure improve readability and allow readers to pay attention to essential aspects.

Conclusions and Recommendations

As a result, during the discussion, the advantages and disadvantages of introducing a shorter work week for the Canadian population were highlighted and considered. Accordingly, introducing a four-day week reveals several benefits for both employers and employees. With such a system, the company can increase its productivity, and employees experience less burnout. However, the disadvantages indicate that the extended working day will have a heavy impact on the condition of workers.

At the same time, difficulties are caused by introducing a shortened week for employees of certain services. Thus, it is necessary to introduce the control policies of the companies on the transition to another system to preserve workers’ salaries. Moreover, when switching to a shortened week, it is essential to conduct a survey and monitor the current situation for some time. Simplify work policies for utilities, and other employees will help maintain fairness and equality among Canadians in the shortened workweek. Therefore, further recommendations for research can be a survey of companies about introducing such a system. Additionally, an important note can be the opinion of employees whose work does not allow them to switch to a shortened week and their attitude to the honesty of this introduction.

References

Badelt, B. (2021). Now is the time to embrace a four-day workweek: The five-day, 40-hor model goes back to the 1920s, when it replaced a standard six-day routine. Toronto: The Globe and Mail.

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David Olive: Get ready for the four-day work week, an idea whose time has come. (2021). The Toronto Star. Web.

Dawson, T. (2020). Think tank sees four-day week as workable; Key is increasing productivity 2% for a decade. Toronto: The Globe and Mail.

Effron, M. (2020). Why the 4-day workweek is a terrible idea. TalentQ. Web.

Elliot, J. K. (2021). Iceland’s 4-day workweek deemed an ‘overwhelming success’ after trial. Global News. Web.

Lindzor, J. (2020). Is a four-day workweek on the horizon?: More employers are experimenting with the once-radical concept, but critics suggest a widespread switch is impractical and could contribute to greater social inequality. Toronto: The Globe and Mail. Web.

Marks, A. (2021). These are the challenges and downsides to the 4-day workweek. Fast Company. Web.

Rodriguez, E. (2019). What would it take to get to a four-day work week?: A four-day work week sounds ideal, but could it actually happen in Canada? Toronto: The Globe and Mail. Web.

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BusinessEssay. (2022, November 21). Relevance of the Four-Day Workweek. Retrieved from https://business-essay.com/relevance-of-the-four-day-workweek/

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BusinessEssay. (2022, November 21). Relevance of the Four-Day Workweek. https://business-essay.com/relevance-of-the-four-day-workweek/

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"Relevance of the Four-Day Workweek." BusinessEssay, 21 Nov. 2022, business-essay.com/relevance-of-the-four-day-workweek/.

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BusinessEssay. (2022) 'Relevance of the Four-Day Workweek'. 21 November.

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BusinessEssay. 2022. "Relevance of the Four-Day Workweek." November 21, 2022. https://business-essay.com/relevance-of-the-four-day-workweek/.

1. BusinessEssay. "Relevance of the Four-Day Workweek." November 21, 2022. https://business-essay.com/relevance-of-the-four-day-workweek/.


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BusinessEssay. "Relevance of the Four-Day Workweek." November 21, 2022. https://business-essay.com/relevance-of-the-four-day-workweek/.