Bernie Sanders has proposed a plan for a four-day workweek with no reduction in pay.
The proposal is based on the idea that reduced working hours can improve work-life balance, reduce stress, and increase productivity. Sanders plans to introduce legislation that would provide tax breaks and other incentives for companies to adopt a four-day workweek.
This proposal follows the example of some companies that have already experimented with shorter workweeks, and a recent trial by a UK-based financial firm, which found that a four-day workweek resulted in increased productivity, improved staff retention, and higher job satisfaction.
However, implementing a shorter workweek may not be feasible for all companies or industries.
On Tuesday, Sanders tweeted out “With exploding technology and increased worker productivity, it’s time to move toward a four-day work week with no loss of pay.”
“Workers must benefit from technology, not just corporate CEOs.”
With exploding technology and increased worker productivity, it’s time to move toward a four-day work week with no loss of pay. Workers must benefit from technology, not just corporate CEOs.https://t.co/mIm1EpcZLu
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 21, 2023
The article Sanders referenced explains the results of a recent trial of a four-day workweek by a UK-based financial firm.
During the trial, employees worked four eight-hour days per week, with no reduction in pay. The article reports that the trial was a success, with productivity increasing by 30%, staff retention improving, and employees reporting improved work-life balance and job satisfaction.
The article notes that this is one of several recent trials of shorter workweeks, and that the concept is gaining popularity in countries around the world. However, the article also acknowledges that implementing a four-day workweek may not be feasible for all companies or industries.
The Post wrote “At the end of the experiment, employees reported a variety of benefits related to their sleep, stress levels, personal lives and mental health, according to results published Tuesday. Companies’ revenue “stayed broadly the same” during the six-month trial, but rose 35 percent on average when compared with a similar period from previous years. Resignations decreased.”
Of the 61 companies that took part in the trial, 56 said they would continue to implement four-day workweeks after the pilot ended, 18 of which said the shift would be permanent. Two companies are extending the trial. Only three companies did not plan to carry on with any element of the four-day workweek.
The results are likely to put the spotlight back on shorter workweeks as a possible solution to the high levels of employee burnout and the “Great Resignation” phenomenon exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, amid a global movement calling for businesses to ditch the in-office, 9-to-5, five-day workweek and adopt more flexible working practices instead.
The findings from the U.K. trial build on the results of an earlier, smaller pilot published in November and also coordinated by 4 Day Week Global. That experiment, which involved about 30 companies and 1,000 employees in several countries, resulted in increased revenue, reduced absenteeism and resignations, and improved employee well-being. None of the participating firms planned to return to five-day workweeks after the pilot ended.
While a four-day workweek has potential benefits, there are also some potential downsides and challenges to consider, including:
Reduced productivity: While some companies have reported increased productivity with shorter workweeks, there is no guarantee that all companies or industries will experience the same benefits. It’s possible that a four-day workweek could lead to reduced output if employees struggle to meet the same productivity levels in a shorter timeframe.
Increased workload: A four-day workweek could lead to an increased workload for employees on the days they do work, as they may have to complete the same amount of work in a shorter timeframe. This could lead to increased stress and burnout.
Reduced earnings: While Sanders’ proposal calls for a four-day workweek with no reduction in pay, it’s possible that some companies may be unable or unwilling to offer the same level of compensation for fewer hours worked. This could result in reduced earnings for employees.
Reduced access to services: If companies adopt staggered work schedules, it could reduce access to services for customers who may need assistance on days when employees are not working.
Difficulty in coordinating schedules: If not all companies and industries adopt the same schedule, it could create challenges in coordinating schedules for employees, customers, and suppliers, which could negatively impact productivity and efficiency.