How is it better: to work less and better or more and worse? It is the question that can give rise to discussions that can fundamentally change the labor market. The proposal to reduce the work schedule to 4 days a week is being brought back to attention in the context of the pandemic.
The work schedule of 4 days a week has been talked about for a long time and there are large companies that have carried out various pilot programs in this regard. There is talk of multiple advantages, but also of disadvantages, equally. And now the idea has become more pronounced on the continent.
Large unions in Europe believe that the 4-day working week would help economies recover from the pandemic. Such a measure is required in countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. If that happens there and pays off, then it’s only a matter of time before the model reaches us.
Working week, reduced to 4 days?
The unions believe that a four-day working week would help fight the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, and in this regard, they have sent a letter to leaders such as Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel and Pedro Sanchez.
“Throughout history, the reduced work schedule has been used in times of crisis and economic recession. For the progress of civilization, the time has come to take advantage of this opportunity and go to the reduced working week “, it is shown in the letter signed by big European unions.
Large companies that conducted studies on this scenario concluded that the measure is beneficial: it has led to increased productivity, but also to better mental health of employees. In the UK, a recent study indicates that a four-day working week in the public sector would create up to half a million new jobs and help limit rising unemployment in the coming months.
The pandemic could accelerate the adoption of such measures. But there are disadvantages.
Some center-right economists believe that less work would affect living standards – because wages would somehow be commensurate. Those who still live from one day to the next do not support the idea.
More about reducing the work schedule, with all the implications, I wrote HERE.