Week 4 Wrong Days. Workers still want it

When based in New York Digital consulting Elephant Ventures moved to a four-day workweek in August 2020, client partner Eric Harkrader has been more productive. The company changed its schedule to four 10-hour days to combat burnout, increase focus time in the morning, and increase time overlap among its global workforce. Harkrader did 50 hours per week. Management had no intention of sacrificing productivity, so Harkrader compressed his workload so he could take Fridays off without recording 12 hours plus days. He and his colleagues joke that their condensed working days are like the 1990s commercial soda: “How extreme!”

At his four-day weekend, he felt broken. “I used to be a vegetable. Thursday night is ‘ordering pizza, staring at the TV and just drooling,” he said. But the point is, he loves it. “That is Actually It’s nice to be able to wake up on a Friday, mow the lawn, go grocery shopping when no one is at the grocery store,” Harkrader said. He uses Saturday to have fun and Sunday to relax. “I found that I was really ready to go on Monday morning.”

The four-day workweek is helping, thanks to extensive public tests rolled out in several countries over the past few months, along with companies marking the transition with soft Notification. WIRED spoke to 15 workers at six tech companies that adopted a shortened week. Employees are generally approved; some see it as a mixed blessing, while others see it as “thank God.” This is despite the fact that the exact interpretation of the “four-day workweek” seems to vary; some companies stick to 40 hours; many people use 32 hours a week, but all insist that the same amount of work — at a minimum — have to be done.

Whether it’s because they’re squeezing more workers into each hour or logging on to their scheduled days off, a lot of white-collar workers are having to do more, faster. However, many people are grateful. As one employee put it, “it shows the company really cares.” This arrangement is a boon for businesses, helping them to forge employee goodwill and loyalty without increasing overall pay or reducing workload.

Reducing working hours has long become the need of labor; unions won a reduction from six days a week to five in the early 20th century, and the US Fair Labor Standards Act introduced the 40-hour-a-week law in 1938. But while productivity Interest rates have almost tripled since then, wages have only increased. about half that amount, according to the nonprofit Economic Policy Institute. The length of the workweek is virtually unchanged.

Now, efforts to reduce work time have regained steam. Last summer, US Representative Mark Takano (D-California) legal introduction to reduce the workweek to 32 hours without pay, four days before the week’s trial period in United States and Canada in April. In Europe, one Trials in Ireland of the four-day week begins this week, followed by a in the UK in June. Eighty-six percent of the Icelanders have switched to shorter working hours or bargaining power for them, after a large study found that a shorter workweek improved health, stress and burnout without affecting their productivity. capacity.

Alex Pang, the author of the book, says the first generation of executives who adopted the four-day workweek was not “trying to reinvent the future of capitalism. Shorter, about the four-day workweek. “They all tell stories like, ‘If we don’t make big changes, this place will go down within the next 18 months.'” The four-day week emerged as an all-in-one solution for one. The range of issues is often solved in a patchwork fashion, from retaining working parents to fighting burnout up and down the corporate hierarchy. smarter way and without leaving too large a body count.”

The pandemic has worsened that outlook around the world. One year after Covid-19, real job posting site found that half of the workers surveyed felt burned out, and two-thirds said burnout had increased during the pandemic. Some tech companies hope the solution lies within the four-day workweek.

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