On January 19, a conference was held at the Davos Forum to discuss the four-day work week, without salary reduction, in which Karien van Gennip, Dutch employment minister, Sander van ‘t Noordende, CEO of Randstad and Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of the global union federation UNI Global Union.
In it, some of the advantages of this reduction in the working day were analyzed, such as the improvement of workers’ rest, or the possibility of reducing the gender gap in terms of domestic care. In this sense, studies have recently been published whose results also indicate the benefits that the four-day work week, without salary reduction, has for companies, workers and the environment.
Good for companies. Last December, 4 Day Week Global published an independent study, carried out by University College Dublin, Boston College and the University of Cambridge, looking at the results of four-day workweek trials carried out, mainly in the United States and Ireland. The report concluded that the productivity of participating companies had increased by 7% and that revenue had grown by 8%.
What the companies say According to Jon Leland, director of the strategy department at Kickstarter, a crowdfunding company that participated in the test, the four-day work week was a “true win-win.” In a post published by 4 Day Week Global, Leland explained that the firm increased its hiring, improved the retention of its workforce and increased its income, at the same time that employees enjoyed more time to rest and be with their families.
The importance of listening to employees. For his part, Rod Lacey, director of human resources at simPRO, a software development company, acknowledged that after the adoption of the 32-hour work week, the firm understood the importance of listening to the demands of workers and ensuring their well-being. . Lacey said that this had a positive impact on the business of the company.
Increased well-being of workers. This is a conclusion similar to that reached by Rent a Recruiter, an Irish company specializing in personnel recruitment. Its CEO, Barry Prost, recognized that revenue, workforce retention and hiring had increased, at the same time that the well-being of workers had also increased.
What employees say One of those workers, Julieanne Cotter, told Time magazine of the benefits she had experienced. “Knowing that you’re not going to be in the office from Monday morning to Friday afternoon feels different,” said Cotter, who also noted a reduction in her stress levels and an increase in her energy.
In addition, he indicated that, in relation to mental health, the change can be very positive. Cotter pointed out, on the other hand, that he used Fridays to take care of her older relatives or to simply “spend more time in the park.”
More time to do sports. For his part, Colby Swandale, a software engineer at the Australian firm Caliber Analytics, stated in a conversation with Time magazine that, in his case, he uses the extra day off for personal care, carrying out activities such as cycling, walking or training. in the gym.
The data proves them right. In this sense, the 4 Day Week report agrees with Cotter and Swandale: throughout the tests that were carried out, an improvement of almost 34% in physical health was detected, compared to 38% compared to mental health and an increase of almost 67% of positive emotions. At the same time, sleeping problems were reduced by 37%.
Additionally, the study indicated that on their day off, workers spent, on average, five hours at leisure, more than three hours on family and domestic care, and more than two hours on personal care.
positive for the environment. On the other hand, the four-day work week, without pay reduction, also has positive effects on an environmental level. A study, carried out by the Henley Business School center of the University of Reading, indicates that if all firms in the United Kingdom applied the four-day work week, around a thousand kilometers less car transport would be carried out per week. This would reduce CO2 emissions and serve to combat climate change.
Imagen: Campaign Creators / Unsplash
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