The idea of a four-day work week has been in the news recently. The industrial revolution, which occurred in the late 1700s, led to an increased demand for labour. In today’s time, people are prioritizing their job over everything. Long hours of hectic work are demanded by companies as well as industries. This has led to lower productivity and has also impacted the environment. Anxiety and stress have become common in the workplace. This is also influenced by hustle culture, where long working hours and sacrificing self-care are necessary for success.
All this makes us think that this is the best alternative, but it too has its pros and cons. It has been implemented in a few countries, where results have been positive. But it might not yield the same result in all countries. Also, the technical improvisations in artificial intelligence may help make it a future reality.
HOW FAR HAS IT WORKED?
The four-day work week is the latest buzz in the working arena. The idea has already been implemented in some of the world’s most productive countries, such as Denmark, Norway, Germany, and the Netherlands. In these countries, an individual does an average of 27 hours per week. The idea has been highly successful, not only leading to increased productivity among the employees but also resulting in healthier and happier employees.
In countries such as India, this idea has not gained much popularity. There are still a lot of companies that have not even implemented a five-day work week. However, recently it has again gained momentum. A lot of studies show improved health of the employee and better functioning of the company too. The Karnataka Assembly has passed a bill that states that an individual devoting 12 hours a day will be eligible to take three days off in a week.
PROS AND CONS OF A FOUR-DAY WORK WEEK
People are unable to maintain a healthy work-life balance in the present times. Most people are victims of extreme anxiety and stress. Hence, they are unable to enjoy what they do. It mainly tries to prioritize the individual’s mental health and well-being. Moreover, they will also be able to spend some quality time with their families, leading to a happier population of employees. Additionally, it also reduces operational costs and thus results in the judicious use of resources.
However, a major drawback of this is customer dissatisfaction. The unavailability of an employee for three days might make the customer feel less important. They may also be unable to avail themselves of services on time. Also, humans tend to always have ‘more’. After a certain period, the employers might feel discontented with this idea too.
HOW EFFECTIVE WOULD IT BE?
Any new idea has various aspects associated with it. The four-day work week is something that is being looked at by various companies around the world. The long-term effects of such an idea can’t be predicted. It might ultimately become the new normal. Thus, making the employees feel discontented and reducing their value. Moreover, coming back after a three-day break makes it difficult to build rapport. To resolve these issues, a five-day work week with a reduced number of hours can be an alternative.
There is yet another aspect to it. People should keep in mind that they work because it adds value to their life. People should be conscious about what they do and why they work. They should try to render quality service. The motive of service shouldn’t only revolve around monetary benefits but also contribute to the growth and development of an individual and society as a whole.
– SURABHI SINGH