Is it a good idea?

Posted on Sunday, May 29, 2022 at 09:35

Large-scale testing will be carried out four days a week in Great Britain, for a period of six months, starting in June.

From June, a giant test of 3,000 employees will be organized in sixty companies for a period of six months and four working days during the week in Great Britain. The experiment, billed as the world’s largest ever, aims to help companies shorten their working hours without cutting wages or slowing down their business.

Similar experiments were conducted in Spain, Iceland, USA, Canada, It should start in August in Australia or New Zealand.

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, director of programs at 4 Day Week Global, the charity that runs the trials, says the six-month UK experience would be beneficial. Giving companies more time for experiment and data collection.

He told AFP that adaptation should be easier for small and medium businesses, which can implement big changes more quickly.

“There is so much you can do with an extra day,” said the 36-year-old brewer who works at Pressure Drop. This North London brewery aims improvement in wellbeing among employees, while helping to Reduce your carbon footprint company.

The Royal Biological Society, which is also involved in the experiment, says it wants Giving employees ‘more independence’. Like Pressure Drop, you hope a shorter work week will attract new employees and, above all, help keep the best, In a very narrow job market in the United Kingdom. By 3.7%, a The unemployment rate is at an all-time low In nearly 50 years and job appointments, which reached a record 1.3 million.

A “growth sacrifice”?

“My first thought was volunteer Then I thought I could do something else, learn a new skill “like particle physics,” says one of the workers, who also plans to spend more time with his family.

Sam Smith, founder of the brewery, admits that staying closed three days a week will pose challenges because “we need to be open all the time, but that’s what we’re going to consider during the experiment.” Plans to give different vacation days to employees and Create two teams To allow continuous operation.

A shorter working week is Easier to establish in the service sector Which represents 80% of the UK economy. But it’s more complicated for retail and food and beverage, says Jonathan Boyce, an economist at the Institute for Personal Development, a consortium that specializes in human resources.

According to him, the key to the success of the trial will be thus productivity measurement, Especially in a service economy where much of the work is less quantifiable than the output of the factory. “If you go from five days to four, lose a working day, Hence production. So the real question is: (…) is a Increase in productivity Will he make up for this lost day? (…) If not, we will have too much trouble To maintain four days a week without sacrificing growth.”

Work Less, Produce More

But for Aidan Harper, co-author of a book promoting four-day working hours (“The Case for a Four Day Week”), countries that work less Tend to achieve higher productivity. “Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands do less than the UK and have high levels of productivity,” he told AFP.

On the contrary, he adds that Greece is one of the European countries with Longer working hours for low productivity. For Phil McParlane, founder of hiring company, a shorter work week is a win-win option for businesses and employees alike. He even talks about a Hiring a superpower.

Its staffing company, which specializes in flexible work and jobs four days a week, says that the number of companies that want to hire through its platform may Quadrupled in the past two years, It bears witness to the rise of hybrid work and the quest to improve quality of life two years after the pandemic.

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