Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion. Michael Jordan.
Can you imagine your boss saying to you that instead of a five day workweek you could work a four day workweek with the same pay and benefits as long as your productivity doesn’t go down?
What would you do?
I know I would love it and would give those four days my best. To have a 3 day weekend every week would be awesome. The economy would get a boost too as you would surely go out more often to eat and drink, catch a movie, watch a sporting event, walk, ride and maybe stay away for a few nights benefiting the hotel or vacation rental trade too!
Companies would have a 20% drop in certain overheads like electricity and water etc. as their offices would be closed an extra day. That savings could go directly to their bottom line.
Would it work?
In Iceland they have been running things this way since 2015 in that very experiment. Productivity did not suffer and in fact increased in certain cases. Staff were happier, more content and more loyal to that company.
Due to the success in those trials in Iceland, Spain and the corporation Unilever in New Zealand is now experimenting too. Spain is piloting a four day work week in a range of large companies and found during Covid it was also an advantage. Unilever, a consumer goods provider of massive size in New Zealand is giving staff the option of reducing work hours by 20% without a corresponding cut in pay and benefits. It appears to be going well there with the majority of the workforce opting for the shorter working week.
Now, in Iceland, those trials were run by Reykjavík City Council and used over 2500 workers. ( roughly 1% of the Icelandic workforce. ) A range of government offices like preschools, clerical offices, social service providers and hospitals. A good cross section.
Because of the success of that project more than 86% of Icelandic workers are now enjoying that shorter work week. The workers all have confirmed less stress, lower chance of burn out and a better home and social life.
So, would it work here in America? I believe it would in the majority of cases where your main workforce has ethical standards and wouldn’t look to take advantage. I feel that may rule out a lot of those on the left and a good proportion of Democrat voters as truthfully they don’t want to work much anyway. They appear happier to just keep on being supported by the taxpayers. Plus they appear to have no ability to use critical thought.
I am interested in hearing your thoughts and comments.
Fred Brownbill at the Save America Foundation.
© Fred Brownbill 2021
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