Separation of work and life or integration of work and life? Separate professional life from private life or combine them to make everything more fluid and less interrupted? These are the two mental patterns inherited from Covid that in recent years have marked the daily lives of many workers, prompting them to leave their company in search of better conditions. It was the well-known great resignation phenomenon, which was generated by a great desire for change. The same has prompted many countries – from the UK to Japan – to successfully experiment with Short work week. After forced remote work, an intermediate period of smart work and a return to existence, Companies decided to promote the reduction of working days from five to four.
The short week is a success in France
The last (successful) experiment took place in France, where a small company in Lyon specializing in energy management offered its employees four days a week for six months for a total of thirty-two hours for office workers and thirty-five hours for managers. Results? Positive, according to what was reported by the Elmi newspaper, which was reported by Aji. “the Daily rest times went from approximately 40 minutes to 34 minutes. The lunch break was shortened by half an hour,” but the overall productivity grew and a better optimization of work could be obtained. Moreover, “absenteeism among 120 employees decreased by more than 70%, the number of quits decreased by more than half, and the average Meetings’ length increased from 63 to 54 minutes, and employee turnover increased from 23% to 48%.
After the satisfactory results obtained in England, confirmation also comes from France Time has become the most valuable bargaining chip. It’s time to dedicate yourself, to sport, to a hobby, to your family, but also to personal growth and health, which have been so much neglected during the dramatic period of Covid. Knowing you can count on one day off a week to be able to handle bureaucratic tasks, take a medical exam that we’ve been putting off for far too long or simply get closer to what makes us feel good is a great way to get more employees relaxed, motivated, and prepared too. In fact, employees often lack the time to train and improve their skills, which leads to inevitable repercussions in terms of personal satisfaction and performance.
However, the short week model is still not convincing for everyone. In Picardy, yard customers complained that opening hours had been increased to nine hours, which is why in the end only three out of 200 customers decided to join the experiment. The explanation can also be found in the fact that according to Le MondeAnd For some employees, the desire for flexibility can be sacrificed in the name of increased pay (66%), job security (40%), and pleasure at work (37%).. In short, the model does not convince everyone, but the level of satisfaction was very high among the approximately 10,000 employees who participated in the experiment. A sign that working four days a week is no longer an impossible dream, not even for our cross-alpine cousins. And what are we waiting for?
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