If you’re anything like me, having had one four-day week, followed by another one (thank you Spring bank holidays), with another two coming up in May, I could quite get used to this! But the real question is – is it feasible to reduce the standard working week from five days to four?
In Personnel Today’s recent article ‘Should every weekend be a long weekend?’ written ahead of the start of the Spring bank holiday bonanza, it talks about the Green Party wanting to take a good look at our culture of long working hours, with discussions around a possible three-day weekend and this being included in their manifesto.
With the likely benefits of a less stressed workforce, less sickness, and in fact a potential increase in productivity, and of course the additional bonus of less unemployment too, surely this is the way forward?
We should know by now that there are always two sides to the story and one big issue is the potential cost, more so in some industries where, ‘the desk needs to be manned.’ Reducing the working week for all would require additional staff to distribute the workload through the ‘open’ periods. And that would mean a potentially significant hike in the wage bill.
The CIPD, whilst recognising the need to address the issue of burnout in the workplace, advocates that flexible working is a better solution, and that this leads to higher productivity. And this is backed by many industry leaders who believe there needs to be a big shift from the focus on hours at work to output.
Would a four-day week work for you and your organisation?
Are you able to work flexibly? If so what is your experience?
Should we focus on output rather than ‘hours at work’?
Join the discussion by adding your comments below.