The Four Day working week revolution is taking more ground, with Belgium joining the ever growing movement.
Long has it been discussed, with trials in Iceland, Scotland, Spain and Japan showing great results, and the UAE starting this year with a four and a half day working week. The future of work life balance is truly starting to change.
With the premise being that, by working longer hours over a four day period, there’ll be no loss in working hours or pay. Consequently productivity will increase with a more motivated, more content workforce.
Obviously this doesn’t necessarily mean that in all sectors having Friday off will be possible. But it definitely changes the narrative. Combining this with flexible home working, we truly are entering a time when the Monday to Friday, 9-5 (on paper) week is the norm.
With this in mind, it’s no wonder that we are moving away from archaic, rigid definitions of what a working week is. In the late 19th Century a full time factory worker was estimated to have a 100 hour week, now, it’s more likely to be 37.5 – 48 hours.
However with AI disrupting each industry at every turn, there’s no need for us to be so hands on. We don’t need to be literally face to face, to actually have a face to face.
Will this take off? In the office I certainly think so, whilst in manufacturing we’ve already had “continental” shift patterns for years in some places. But this could end the 4 day rolling week, replacing it with a more productive set week. Making it a more attractive opportunity for those who are deterred by the possibility of working frequently across the weekend.
With trials taking place across 30 employers in the UK in a programme being conducted by Oxford and Cambridge, time will tell whether this is not only appealing to the nations workers, but also a truly viable option to revolutionise the way we work.