Four-Day Work Weeks Shows That Employees Would Be Happier And More Productive In What They Do

Studies have shown that working less during the week actually benefits employers and workers at the same time. Having a three-day weekend makes workers happier, significantly more productive and more loyal to their companies. This has been proven in New Zealand, Iceland and Sweden where they all saw success by shortening the working hours.

Professor and Management of Psychology Adam Grant, from the Wharton School in Pennsylvania said that: “I think we have some good experiments showing that if you reduce work hours, people are able to focus their attention more effectively, they end up producing just as much, often with higher quality and creativity, and they are also more loyal to the organisations that are willing to give them the flexibility to care about their lives outside of work.”

Rutger Bregman, an economist and historian who also wrote the book Utopia for Realists explains that having a shorter work week has been an idea that people have been discussing about since the 1920’s. In fact, policymakers have been trying to figure out ways as to give the workforce more freedom for the last century. “In the 1920s and 1930s, there were actually major capitalist entrepreneurs who discovered that if you shorten the working week, employees become more productive. Henry Ford, for example, discovered that if he changed the working week from 60 hours to 40 hours, his employees would become more productive, because they were not that tired in their spare time.”

A study created by the Warwick University in the UK proved that employees that were treated well in their jobs showed signs of more intellectual ability and exerted more effort into doing a good job. The studies also reported less stress levels and an improved balance between work and life.

Another survey which was made for OECD countries showed the same median of results. An example would be South Korea, which is known to have a culture of very long work hours has performed as one of the lowest in productivity rates amongst the other countries. Another prime example is Greece who has one of the longest work weeks of all Europe and has the lowest measure of GDP per hour in the office.

Policymakers around the world have now been taking these studies seriously and seeing which careers can actually work well with a three-day weekend for their employees. New Zealand has already trialled these new working hours last year and has confirmed they would have this measure on a more permanent basis.

Does your company support the four-day work week?


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