As you may already be aware, Spain has made headlines this week after sharing it will be trialling a four-day work week.
The move will cut the working week from 40 hours down to 32 hours, without staff taking a cut in pay. That may sound wild to you, but according to Iñigo Errejón – a party official from Spain’s Más País political party – told The Guardian that the choice was made because, the country would like to “reorient the economy towards improving health, caring for the environment, and increasing productivity.”
In short, the notion behind the move is “that working more hours does not mean working better.”
This is a discussion that has been happening for a while now, so I figured it was worth exploring what the benefits are of a shorter work week. Should it be something we all get involved in?
Here are the pros of this approach to work:
Productivity will likely spike
As NPR reports, a four-day work week trial in Japan for Microsoft resulted in a whopping 40% increase in productivity. In the same piece from NRP, the outlet shared that a New Zealand-based study found that reduction in time meant unnecessary meetings were cut and this, combined with less time commuting meant more work was completed.
Folks will be happier
Flexibility means that people are better able to manage a work-life balance, which leads to a more positive headspace, which leads to increased work satisfaction.
A piece the Conversation wrote on this area shared that less working days means that parents are better able to manage childcare needs. It also means folks are more rested, which is not only positive for mood but productivity (as mentioned above).
More people want to work with you
As NPR reports, trials of four-day working weeks in businesses like Shake Shack have seen a wave of interest from employees wanting to jump aboard. People respond to flexibly working structures, unsurprisingly.
So, in short. While the concept may feel like it’ll turn work and productivity on its head, trials suggest that the move is not only better for workers, but businesses, too. The only question is: do we think it will continue to gain momentum?