Fingers crossed this comes to Brisbane.
Five days, 38-40 hours. Sometimes (well, often actually) it can get on top of the best of us. We tend to find ourselves feeling that if the working week was reduced just that tiny bit, we might even end up being more productive, despite the decrease in hours.
Spain was the latest country to call for action and is currently trialling the initiative and now, Ireland has decided to join the party.
For a trial, that is. Throughout the next six months, beginning on June 22, a campaign led by Four Day Week Ireland gets underway to test the effectiveness of fewer working days in the week. The group says that the four day week would boost work/life balance in companies and lead to more efficient work. Employees partaking in the scheme will receive the same pay, and companies are being supported financially and mentored through the trial.
Four Day Week Ireland said: “Our medium-term objective is to move towards the four day week being the standard work arrangement across the economy, with no loss of pay. As with the five day week today, it will not be the only work arrangement – For some sectors, employments and workers, different variances of reduced working hours and a shorter working week will need to co-exist alongside the benchmark of the four day week.
“We do not mean that everyone will have a ‘three day weekend’ – Strong management and clever rostering will need to ensure that businesses and public services can function for 5 or in some cases even 7 days, alongside a shorter working week for all workers.”
Good on Ireland, we say. And while some of our readers might believe that this is socialist propaganda (they said it, not us), we think that a better work/life balance is something that we all need and if working one less day per week helps that, we’re all for it.
Last year, Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland, called for a four-day working week with six-hour days while a group of Labour MPs in London even called for a similar action in the UK to ease the effects of post-lockdown working life. So, it seems that the feeling is a common one across the world.
Closer to home, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the suggestion that some Kiwi businesses could trial a four-day working week in order to help rebuild the economy and Microsoft in Japan trialled the shorter-working week in 2019 and concluded that it had been a success.
So, here’s to hoping that the future of work is fewer hours but higher productivity and the same pay.