Have you ever dreamed of having every Friday off work? Do you ever feel like a two-day weekend is not enough time to recoup? You’re not alone. Many people also feel this way. As more and more workers are transitioning from a five-day workweek to a four-day workweek, let’s explore why this is happening and the potential of you getting an extra day off soon.
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History Of The Five-Day Workweek
It wasn’t that long ago that a typical week of work was six days long. This would leave Sundays open for people to go to church, visit their family and rest. The first-ever five-day workweek was implemented in 1908 at a New England cotton mill to cater to religious workers who could not work on Saturdays according to their religion.
Then in 1926, Henry Ford disrupted things even further and introduced a five-day week of work for his company. This change eventually impacted the entire job industry and has held ground now for almost an entire century. This decision was made for three primary purposes. First, it was believed that a shorter workweek would increase the total productivity that occurred during working hours. It was also thought that more free time would grant more people the time to buy cars.
Then, there was a prevalent idea that a typical worker deserved to have more than one day off per week. In the following decade, President Franklin D. Roosevelt formally made a five-day workweek the new normal by signing into law the Fair Labor Standards Act. To this day, this standard still holds into effect.
What Happened When Ford Implemented A Five-Day Work Week?
Many people mocked Ford for changing his work schedule to only have 5-days of work. In all reality, Ford himself was probably also a little worried that it might not work out as planned. After all, what he was offering was the same pay for fewer overall hours of work. Wokeness At Work II. Basecamp: Implosion, Or Addition By Subtraction?
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What ended up occurring, though, shocked the entire USA workforce. Not only did Ford notice a higher level of productivity but also higher levels of employee loyalty. In return, the critics of Ford turned into fans one-by-one. What Ford started with his company ended up turning into a national standard that holds to this day.
What Is All the Buzz About With A Four-Day Work Week?
Many people, especially employers, might be skeptical of the idea of a four-day workweek. After all, why not just turn it into three days, or only two! Before we can ever even assert that this is some slippery slope, hear out why a four-day workweek might be more rational than you think.
The Five-Day Work Week Is Outdated
The five-day workweek is a solution to a century-old problem. This problem was increasing production on assembly lines and boosting consumer activity. We can learn from this old solution that fewer work hours can turn into higher productivity levels.
What we see today is a much different atmosphere than what existed in the early 1900s. There is a growing workforce of online workers and an overall shift in the type of work being done by Americans. Given the current global situation, a four-day workweek seems ever appropriate. It has already started to be rolled out, too.
Initial Trials Are Promising
Microsoft Japan recently tested out a four-day workweek and published some fascinating results. Essentially, they received a 40% increase in productivity and a 23% lower electricity bill. In short, the employees took their time at work more seriously, finished more than expected, and helped the company save a bit of money on electricity.
In addition to Microsoft Japan, Spain has also recently introduced a national trial period of three years, testing the four-day workweek. To do this, they will not cut employee pay and will limit hours to a maximum of 32-hours per week. To do so, the Spanish government is investing over $60 million into the project.
Increases Employee Happiness And Loyalty
There isn’t an employee in the world who doesn’t want to work for a job that they enjoy and a boss they admire. It should go without saying that actions such as more free time will only increase your employees’ overall happiness and their loyalty to you as their employer. Not to mention, employees’ productivity will probably also arise due to fewer days of work. It is a win-win scenario for everyone involved.
Should You Expect A Four-Day Work Week Soon?
In all reality, a four-day workweek isn’t too far-fetched. There are many different benefits for doing so, that have been explored above. Although it isn’t likely for a standard four-day workweek to hit the USA this year, crazier things have happened. It only takes a few large corporations to lead the way and add transparency to their process and results. In turn, this may be a reality that could be implemented shortly.