Shortening the work week, by not reducing wages, gives employees a much-needed break – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last summer, Mike Melillo, CEO of The Wanderlust Group, a New England-based technology company, noticed that working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic was causing damage to him and 44 employees. “I was aware of how much mental burden would be created on all of us by being in touch all the time,” Melillo said.
In May, he made the decision to make Monday a day off for all employees and above all without cutting their salaries. He decided on Monday, as this is the best day to take advantage in New England as there are fewer tourists.
“I decided to try it for three months and see how it goes. In the end it turned out that we had the best months [në të ardhura p.sh.]. “The happiness of the team and the families increased significantly,” he said.
As a result, for the Wanderlust Group, the work week has only 4 days. According to the ZipRecruiter website, the share of 4-day one-week job postings has quadrupled over the past five years, from 14 per 10,000 jobs to 62 per 10,000 in 2020. The most common sectors offering four-day work weeks at ZipRecruiter are sales, retail and healthcare.
Although four-day work weeks are still rare in the United States, the idea is less rare elsewhere. Last May, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recommended that employers work only 4 days / week to boost domestic tourism and offset losses from the pandemic. Earlier this year, the Spanish government approved a three-year pilot program to help companies make the switch, citing the belief that working longer hours does not necessarily mean having better results. Politicians in Russia and Britain are considering drafting laws to do the same.
Although skepticism and inertia can deter businesses, there are a large number of studies that say the abolition of the fifth day of work can benefit both employees and businesses. Here’s how one less work day can help everyone:
1. Employees become more productive
Attending many meetings is the biggest waste of time according to employee quotes in surveys. When you have fewer hours a week to get the job done, this can push organizations to improve processes and allow employees to email their morning meeting. That’s what happened to the Wanderlust Group, Melillo said. “A lot of people were using Monday morning meeting to plan their week and coordinate.”
Other businesses that shortened the work week also reported increased efficiency. In August 2019, Microsoft in Japan tested a four-day workweek by not lowering wages and this resulted in a 40% increase in sales per employee compared to last summer. The vast majority of employees said they were pleased with the change.
2. Vacancy announcements (where the work week is four days), receive more applications
The flexibility of a shorter work week is an important benefit that jobseekers actively desire. Julia Pollak, an economist at ZipRecruiter, found that on average, job postings offering a four-day workweek receive 15% more applications than other job postings in the same industry, according to company data from 2018 until now.
According to a study by the University of Reading, 63% of employers in the UK where the work week is four days, said that the benefit has been huge, because it has helped them attract the best professionals and at the same time keep them as part of the company for very long.
3. If you work less, help the environment
In addition to helping businesses, working less can also help the Earth. A 2012 analysis by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, argued that working fewer hours is good for the environment. “Places with shorter working hours tend to have less environmental pollution, carbon footprint and carbon dioxide emissions,” the researchers wrote, citing fewer trips to work and a lower need for energy. .
They estimate that working one day less per week can reduce carbon footprint by more than 30%. Energy savings were also evident. The Microsoft test in Japan found that by working one day less per week, office electricity usage fell by 23% and printing fell by 59%.
4. Flexibility helps people find work-life balance.
In addition to the high benefits that a working day gives less per week to a certain company, its advantages are also great in terms of psychological benefits for employees. Olivia Hennedy, an employee of the Wanderlust Group Dockwa brand, said that before moving on to a four-day work week, working from home exhausted her. The extra day off has actually been a source of energy. “An extra day, whether doing some work or going out or relaxing, has really improved my mental health and has certainly been reflected in my work,” she said.
Not knowing what the course of the COVID-19 pandemic will be like that causes employee exhaustion, rest and recovery time is more precious than ever. Mr. Melillo thinks four-day work weeks will become something more than ordinary. / * Monica Torres, Huffington Post