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Would you embrace the Four-Day Work Week this year?

Across the globe, multiple companies have started trialling the four-day work week to see how effective it is on employee productivity. Initially, the reduced work week was introduced in 1916 by Henry Ford, who recommended that workers work five days a week instead of the original six days a week. However, as people put more value on their mental well-being and the quality of life, more and more companies have started embracing the idea of working only for 4 days.  

By adding that extra day off, companies have found it is easier to find and retain talent within their companies. In addition, this spare time that the employees have to themselves allows them to focus on their mental health and physical well-being. As a result, companies can boost productivity as employee burnout and mental exhaustion is limited.  

Juliet Schor, an economist, shows countries that have implemented this reduced work week have found an increase in their productivity rate compared to countries that retain the five-day work week. In addition, the number of Australian organisations that have started implementing the four-day work week has increased by twenty-nine per cent over recent years.  

Nonetheless, the benefits of this reduced work week are reaped by both the employees and the companies. With one less day in the office, companies can save on electric bills and reduce their carbon footprint, with concerns about climate change on the rise.  

Despite its many benefits, this reduced work week also has its downsides. For example, despite having an extra day to themselves, employees might find themselves pressed for time and have a more concentrated workload than they usually would. Additionally, they might have to work longer hours to meet deadlines or improve their time management skills. Finally, companies may find that they might need to increase hours or reduce employee pay due to this extra day off.  

These two years have been hard on everyone, especially employees who have had to adapt to working from home and some laid off from their jobs. The four-day work week is believed to be an excellent decision to boost employee morale and productivity, especially after difficult times. As said by the chief executive of 4 Day Week Global, Joe O’Connor: “As we emerge from the pandemic, more companies recognise that the new frontier for the competition is quality of life.” 

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