The concept of a four-day working week is continuing to gain momentum in Ireland. Organisations are now realising since the pandemic that not all employees need to be in the same place working together. Instead, people can work from home and this has not had a poor impact on productivity levels.
More and more job listings are offering remote and hybrid working models and numerous companies are also contacting the 4 Day Week Global Campaign to see how this can be a reality in their business. COVID-19 has helped people gain more work-life balance since it cut commuting times massively.
As a result, employees are now looking for more time to themselves to enjoy their lives and the four-day working week is something that can help them achieve this. With that being said, some are still confused about what it really entails: is it 5 days’ worth of work crammed into 4 days, or are employees working a 40-hour week in the 4 days? Alternatively, are they missing out on 1 day of work per week?
It used to mean that workers were forced to take fewer hours with less pay. However, in today’s world, the definition is more so about a reduced or shortened working week that does not result in less pay or impact benefits. The campaign refers to it as a 100:80:100 approach whereby 100 percent of the pay is granted for 80 percent of the hours with 100 percent of the output.
Under this concept, the working week goes from 40 hours per week down to 32 hours and this is just a starting point. Therefore, over time, it looks different for each organisation. Very few organisations have opted for the reduced hours or for closing their doors entirely for one day per week. However, much more think alternatives like flexible working schedules and staggered shifts that allow companies to increase productivity as opposed to reducing it will work best.