After becoming a global conversation, a Four-day-workweek has been made practical in the US and Canada, with at least 33 North American companies taking part in a 6-month pilot program. The project is spearheaded by 4 Day Week Global, a not-for-profit community supporting the idea of a ‘four-day workweek’ as the future of the modern workforce.
The 4-day workweek program, which began in April 2022, has brought together many like-minded organizations, including many tech-based companies like the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, to make the widely discussed remote and hybrid working environments a reality.
According to Joe O’Connor, the CEO of 4 Day Week Global, the 4-day work week and a 3-day weekend aim at having employees work for only 80% of their time and get paid 100% of their wages while also maintaining 100% productivity. The proponents of the new working schedule maintain that the 4-day workweek will help employees work more efficiently as it also cuts down on unnecessary organizational meetings.
While this might sound like a bad idea to employers who are into the now- ubiquitous office hours, many companies are already supporting the idea of transforming the future of work by embracing hybrid and remote work for high productivity and a better employee.
Apart from the 38 companies already participating in the 6-month pilot program in the US and Canada, O’Connor revealed that other companies would join the program when the planned UK pilot program begins on June 1, adding that more than 50 British companies have signed up for trial along with more than 3,000 employees who support the ideal behind the program.
“More and more companies are recognizing that the new frontier for the competition is quality of life and that reduced-hour, productivity-focused working is the vehicle to give them that competitive edge,” said O’Connor as quoted by the CNBC.
Why a Four-day Workweek?
Work-related stress has been one of the most common problems faced by employees globally. Continuous burnout caused by long hours of work and other unfavorable working conditions has contributed to 43% of employees globally working under stress daily.
According to a report published by Stress Organization on April 13, 2022, 83% of workers in the US suffer from work-related stress, 25% regard their work as the number one stressor, and 76% acknowledge that their work-life affects their personal relationships.
In Canada, research shows an estimated 47% of workers feel stressed while at work daily, with 1 in 4 workers becoming highly stressed at work, joining the 27% of Canadians who feel extremely stressed each day. And the situation isn’t any better in the UK.
According to the 2020 UK Workplace Survey, a startling 79% of UK employees often experience work-related stress, with 451,000 new cases reported between 2020 and 2021. The huge number of stressed employees results in a staggering 70 million workdays lost every year due to mental health issues, costing employers £2.4 billion annually.
The high prevalence of work-related stress among employees and hefty costs paid by employers makes a 4-day workweek the ultimate future of the global workforce.
According to the statistics shared by the 4 Day Week Global, 63% of businesses found it easier to attract and retain talents with the revolutionary working schedule (four days of work and three days weekend), with 78% of the employees happier and less stressed.
Will the 4-Day Workweek Be the Future of the Global Workforce?
Since the global Covid-19 pandemic plagued the world, many organizations shifted to remote and hybrid working environments to keep their businesses running, a trend that has persisted even after businesses reopened, leading to the highest number of remote workers than ever before.
According to research by Gallup, 53% of workers consider hybrid work arrangements, while 24% expect to work exclusively remotely. With this ongoing trend, a four-day workweek proves pretty visible as it would attract many employees to organizations that offer such working conditions and massive resignation from organizations sticking to the 9 to 5 schedules due to low employee morale.
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