Anyone who’s ever worked a regular 9-5 job knows how everyone really feels about their work weeks. From Monday blues to finally going over hump day and TGIFridays we somehow manage to keep ourselves focused on waiting for the weekend to breathe.
Monday to Friday’s (for some even Saturdays) don’t feel like our own, we are constantly working and when we’re home we’re still thinking about work. We’re lucky if we even remember to sleep right.
Is it really fair to dedicate 5-6 days working and have only 1 or 2 days off? (Off is used loosely because everyone always has some work thing to take care of over the weekends anyway)
Is this system outdated?
4-Day Work Week?
Recently, the Microsoft Offices in Japan ran a trial where they cut the regular 5 day work week down to 4 days.
This trial was named the “Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019”, It tests out the old saying “All work and no play makes jack a dull boy”
All of the employees were given 5 Fridays off, without their salaries being affected. Technically, since the employees were working far fewer hours it was expected that maybe the total work done would be less too. In reality, they ended up getting a lot more work done. The employee productivity rate increased by 40%!
Since the employees had less hours of work to go through each day, they ended up being more motivated throughout the workday and got a lot more work done than usual because they were happier, being happy increased their focus overall.
Not only did this set up increase the overall productivity rate but also ended up saving the day to say running cost for the office – less electricity was used, less bills over all since the office was closed for an additional 5 days than it usually is. This in turn saves the company a lot more money in the long term and is great for the environment too.
Microsoft Japan president and CEO Takuya Hirano said while speaking to the Guardian
“Work a short time, rest well and learn a lot. I want employees to think about and experience how they can achieve the same results with 20% less working time,”
The average person today is usually extremely overworked. In addition to working 8-12 hour shifts a day they also bring a lot of their work home, making it feel like work follows you until you go to sleep. Finding a job isn’t easy and sometimes involves long daily commute too, which too takes time out of your day that you can’t do anything else but you’re also not clocked into work yet. All these factors combined make for a terrible work life balance. People have extremely busy weeks and a not so busy Saturday before they are right back into preparing for the next day ahead.
The world seems as though it is moving faster than ever these days, is it still right that we work the way we’ve done for centuries? With the invention of the internet and better computers and machinery that we can use to get work done faster, is the usual 5-6 day work week still something we really need? Is the 4 day work week the next big thing?
Do you think you’ll be more productive if you had to work one day less every week?