Working 4 days a week would seem to…
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Working 4 days a week would seem to be an advantage for health, productivity, and the environment

February 08, 2019 • By Shirley Marie Bradby

Those who live in the modern era consider the classic workweek - from Monday to Friday and from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm - absolutely normal.

However, many people ignore the fact that this lifestyle was instead a conquest obtained after a long and difficult struggle during a period when factory shifts were exhausting and safety and protection laws for employees were inadequate. 

In fact, for those who lived at the beginning of the last century the simple idea of working "only" 5 days a week for 8 hours a day seemed to be practically an absurdity.

Now, today history seems to repeat itself, regarding the discussion regarding the possibility of working for only 4 days a week.

image: pixabay.com

The digital age has led today to very tight work schedules, so much so that in many cases people skip their lunch break or they are doing more and more over time work.

However, paradoxically, this trend, instead of increasing productivity, it actually causes a decrease in the quantity and quality of the results produced. In fact, stress and fatigue not only generate less efficiency but lead employees to increase their number of sick days throughout the year. 

In countries where the 4-day work week has been tested, there were fewer absences and with their extra free time, employees have managed to devote more time to self-care and healthy physical activity.

image: pixabay.com

Fewer days of work do not only mean more well-being for people, but it also provides benefits for the environment. Going from 7 to 4 days essentially means gaining 3 days when employees are not forced to travel by car to go back and forth to work. This means polluting less and reduced spending on fuel. During the same unit of time, when offices remain closed, there is also a huge decrease in the consumption of energy. 

Therefore, there are many advantages, for the well-being of countless people and for the health of the planet. Just think that reducing the number of work hours for each individual by only 10% would result in a 15% reduction of their carbon footprint. The latter is practically speaking, the measure of the amount of CO2 emissions and greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere during the performance of human activities. 

Lastly, but even more importantly, there is the aforementioned issue of productivity, which would be improved thanks to the greater concentration and lucidity of workers who are less fatigued and stressed. Nevertheless, at least, for now, the 4-hour working week is still only a hypothesis, but looking at the past and comparing it with the present can serve as an encouragement and make one think that everything is possible.

Tags: Curious JobsHealth

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