Looking at the current situation, there are people who work in IT firms as well as people who work in a variety of different institutes. For example, suppose there are employees who work six days a week and have to work for eight hours every day, and they have to clock in around 48 hours every week. If there are people working in IT or other biotech companies, they should work for around five days, which means they should log in for about nine hours every day, and the weekly should be about 45 hours.
What is the current suggestion that is being put forth?
Currently, individuals work six or five days a week, but in the not-too-distant future, people will only work four days a week, with the other three days being spent taking advantage of leave benefits. However, the money made will cover them completely for the same amount of time as it does now, or five days. We will attempt to comprehend the benefits of the four-day workweek against this specific background, as well as the difficulties in putting it into practice and the road forward.
Advantages with respect to the four-day week
- When discussing the benefits, it brings up the issue of those who must travel to work. They must therefore leave their houses and travel to their offices. They must travel from their houses to these offices, whether they do so in cars, bicycles, or even by using public transportation. However, because of the relative reduction in the number of days they work, their commute costs will also decrease, allowing them to save money. However, if they are traveling, they must also use the fuel for their cars well as for their bikes. Now, this is also reduced, which means the environmental issues will also be addressed. They will therefore be able to cut costs on one side of their budget. The environment and the greenhouse gasses that are released by these automobiles and bikes will also be improved, on the other hand. There is a benefit to this specific situation, which is why employers are content to let employees work four days.
- Motivate the worker more since they will have three days off. He would be free to investigate whatever he wants. He is free to pursue his interest if he so chooses. He can maintain his hobbies and pick up new skills at the same time. Currently, if you think of a five-day period, people would be exhausted on the sixth day, take a nap, start partying the following day, and so on. If there is an extra day, they can also improvise on their skill set, and at the same time, production will rise as soon as they arrive at the workplace. Consequently, this will enhance the morale and motivation boost for all the employees.
- The four-day workweek will aid in cost reduction as well. We also came to understand this through Microsoft’s experiment, in which they reduced their printing and electricity costs while also providing free coffee, bread, and other essentials. Additionally, this will assist businesses in cutting expenses.
- Additionally, there will be less downtime, higher productivity, improved talent acquisition and retention, more people will want to work for such organizations, there will also be more autonomy, and there are environmental benefits, as we first started.
- Furthermore, there is a benefit for women. How?
Gender parity will increase with the four-day workweek. How?
Right now, it appears that men work more than women do in contrast to those employed in the IT industry or any other institution. Why? because women are expected to take care of their homes when it comes to males. They are expected to care for their homes because there is no one to look after the kids, or if there are elderly parents as well, no one to look after them as well. However, in this specific context, what would happen is that you would now have the husband or the male substitute who will be on call for around three days at your house. Therefore, these folks are able to participate in family activities and manage the household finances. Women could investigate their job advancement in this place.
- Currently, women choose shorter work days and smaller shifts more frequently than males, even if this compromises their ability to earn a higher wage. But because males would be staying at home for around three days in the near future, they would be able to engage in more career-related activities and explore their aspirations.
- Does this imply that it can be applied equally to all sectors?
- Yes, if you look at the service sector, you might apply the same principles there. But will the manufacturing sector experience the same presence there?
- Can this be put into practice at the hospital where there are no doctors and they only work 12 hours a day, making them unavailable for the following three days?
No, it is not possible.
- Let’s imagine, for instance, that you also have a hairdresser and a barber. Will you only be able to work for four days before taking the remaining three off?
In essence, this means that the four-day workweek presents disadvantages or difficulties for you. Only a few industries are affected, but numerous institutions may still need to function effectively for the remaining five or six days, and so on.
What then are the difficulties or drawbacks of a four-day workweek?
- Necessary protection for both the workers and the clients. Let’s suppose, for instance, that because there is the same number of people who must work in a specific process and in a company, the other workers will need to manage, putting additional stress on this specific person.
- Consequently, this particular work will place additional pressure on the people who are now employed. Assume that there is a team of roughly ten workers, and many of them will be on leaves. As a result, there will be increased stress and burnout, and they won’t be able to manage, which will reduce production and will not increase because of fewer people.
- Conflicts over scheduling will also be an issue; less hours can mean less work; compression may cost money; and more stress.
What is the situation with India? What’s going to happen with this?
We have the Labor Code, which was created by the Indian government. Given that labor is a related topic and that new regulations are being developed, it is likely that the Indian government is also in contact with the states. In accordance with the regulations, it has already been suggested that the IT companies be allowed to proceed with the four-day work if they demonstrate a desire. In essence, this means that they will only be able to work for four days before enjoying three days off.
There are advantages and disadvantages to this particular issue, but if you plan to retain it for 12 hours over the course of four days, it might not be successful since people would lose interest in the firm.
The Indian government must consider the fact that productivity drops after a certain number of hours; nevertheless, if this is done, there would be opposition from both the workforce and the businesses themselves because productivity may suffer.
Therefore, the Indian government should rethink this particular choice, and the multistakeholder approach will need to be considered when the rules are written.
Hence, it will be necessary to take into account the workforce, as well as civic society and those who are employed. Since employees are adaptable, these suggestions should be considered, and the companies should also be given an option; only then should this be put into practice. Companies will therefore need to have a similar conversation with their staff and then implement it.
Thank you Times of India and Economic Times for covering the voice of Sameer Munshi, Senior Vice President – Human Resources, EduBridge