It turns out that many employees’ dreams of a long weekend each week have a chance to become reality in the future. Companies are looking for new ways to combat burnout, and the pandemic for many market giants was a good time to think about how to reorganize work. One of the most common ideas is a four-day work week.
The American monthly “The Atlantic” claims that the introduction of the three-day weekend is a change that will not be avoided by the labor market. One of the first companies to test such a solution was the Japanese branch of Microsoft. The experiment became famous in the world media after it turned out that, as a result of the new system, the productivity of employees increased by 40%.
One of the precursors of the four-day working week during the pandemic was the software company Buffer. In June 2020, its authorities announced that by the end of the year it would allow 89 employees to work 4 days a week while maintaining their current salary.
At the end of the trial period, Buffer’s management discovered that the shorter working week had a positive effect on employee productivity. At the same time, the workforce experienced a reduced level of stress and an increase in job satisfaction. Employees were also pleased with the new system. “It was like a godsend for us,” said one customer service employee.
The Atlantic stresses that the Buffer experiment is not yet complete.
Similar tests are underway at Unilever. There, until December 2021, 81 employees work on a short-term basis. The corporation ensures that after the trial period it will thoroughly analyze the experiment and decide whether all its employees will be able to enjoy the longer weekend in the future.
The Spanish government will pay for the long weekends?
The Guardian said in March that the Spanish government has agreed to reimburse companies that agree to test the 32-hour working week. The mechanism is to cover about 200 employers, which may mean a big life change for thousands of people. The program starts in the fall of this year.
Enthusiasts of shorter work count on the fact that the multi-million dollar program implemented in Spain will allow researchers to develop recommendations for changes in the organization of work for companies around the world.