Five days of work a week, that may seem like a long time. What if four days were enough? In the United Kingdom, around fifty companies are preparing to test a new work organization: from June 2022, their employees will work four days (instead of five), no pay cutfor a period of six months.
This initiative is led by the foundation 4 Days Week Global, campaigning for the establishment of the four-day week everywhere in the world. His goal ? Determine whether the reduction in working time has an effect “on business productivity, the well-being of their workersas well as on top the environment and gender equality“. Researchers from different universities (Cambridge, Boston and Oxford) will closely monitor the daily lives of employees.
According to the magazine Fast Company (source 1), if the experience is conclusive, a bill could be studied in Parliament to introduce the 32 hour week. The same type of program is expected to start in Ireland in February 2022 and in the United States in April 2022.
No decrease in productivity recorded
Can the 4-day week have a beneficial impact on our productivity? Without great suspense: yes. Similar experiments have already been carried out in New Zealand, Iceland or Sweden, always with success.
Most companies that have tested this 4-day week around the world have not experienced a decrease in productivity. On the contrary, they found a reduction in sick leave and improved productivity. The employees concerned say they are more satisfied with their work, more fulfilled professionally and moremotivated. Physically, they shared a decrease in their stress level and a better level of energy.
According to English sociologist Alex Williams, the benefits of a four-day week would be much greater. In an article entitled “How the 3-day weekend can save the world (and us too)”, he notably touts the benefits of a three-day weekend “for radically reduce our environmental impact – and sustain our economy” (source 2). According to him, an additional “off” day would considerably reduce energy consumption: less transport, office energy savings, etc.
A long weekend could also be beneficial for our mental health, our physical health, our general well-being, but also for our social life. To meditate then. Even if, in France, it is a different story that has been ringing since the end of January 2022. Marianne : “You can agree to work 45 hours a week when you are 25, then reduce your working hours when you have children or when you are senior”. Also to ponder.