Why Panasonic Only Has A Four-Day Work Week
Why Panasonic Only Has A Four-Day Work Week
The four-day work week has been a demand in Europe for several years. And it looks like it is getting closer and closer to becoming a reality. The UK will start a trial with more than 3,000 employees in June. The aim? To get more information on how the measure can be implemented.
Companies like Panasonic are already incorporating it with great success. Let’s review with you how it has worked where it has been tested. But first, let’s take a look at its possible advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of a 4-Day Workweek
The subject is controversial and there is still no general consensus. But we can establish several positive points that advocate a shorter working week. And not only for workers! Companies would also benefit, although it may not seem so:
- Increased productivity. Several companies that have incorporated the model affirm this. Microsoft did a test in Japan and claimed a 40% increase in productivity! These are high numbers, but they make sense. Workers are more efficient when the time available to perform tasks is less.
- Lower costs. Logically, maintenance costs and expenses associated with daily activity such as electricity decrease with one less day. Workers’ outlays for transportation and gasoline are also reduced. And this has a direct impact on the company’s ecological footprint. The pollution it emits falls dramatically.
- Increased work-life balance. We cannot ignore the fact that an extra day off would make it easier to reconcile work and family life. This is a long-standing demand among workers. With 3 days off it is easier to balance family and work, improving physical and mental health. And a worker who reconciles work and family life is a happy worker, who can develop his activity in a much more efficient way.
- Greater talent retention. All the facilities granted to employees will help them decide to stay in the company. This includes the 4-day work week. In addition, more favourable working conditions can help attract better candidates to the company.
Disadvantages of Working 4 Days a Week
Of course, there are also detractors of the measure. There are several drawbacks that could put the brakes on a global adaptation to the Monday-Thursday week.
- It is not adaptable to every sector. Of course, not all companies will be able to adapt to the 4-day work week. Sectors such as education or health care would have serious problems in making the transition to the 4-day model.
- Loss of competitive advantages. In highly competitive sectors, moving to working one day less can be a disadvantage if not all companies incorporate it at the same time. A store that opens only four days will be at a great disadvantage compared to the others. And in Spain, with the large network of SMEs that make up the backbone of our business fabric, this can be a death sentence.
- Increased workload. The way in which the model is implemented may be very different. But what is certain is that the demands of the company will not diminish and the employee will have to do the same work in 4 days as in 5 days. The 40-hour working week is maintained, spread over 4 days instead of 5 (i.e. 10 hours of work per day, with its consequent mental workload).
- Loss of flexibility for the customer. Especially in the service sector, there is a tradition of Monday to Friday schedules. Breaking with this tradition of availability may generate resistance in many companies. Basic services would continue to be available on a daily basis, but can we assume much shorter opening hours in stores?
How Has the 4-Day Week Worked Around The World?
The truth is that the 4-day workweek has not become widespread anywhere in the world. Its expansion is rather limited to experiments or specific companies.
For instance, in Spain several SMEs incorporated this model after the end of the 2020 confinement. Iceland or New Zealand have implemented tests to see what is the result of working fewer days.
The companies that have already implemented the 4-day week on a regular basis are few. In general, they are not very large, with the exception of Panasonic, which has it as an option since January 2022. Shopify is including it over the summer and Kickstarter is going to start an experiment to see how it would work.
Biggest Experiment Ever On the 4-Day Workweek
As we told you at the beginning of the post, the United Kingdom will start a test in more than 60 companies of all types. The aim is to analyze how the move to a Monday-Thursday workweek would work. Wages will not be affected and it will last for six months.
It is the largest experiment related to the 4-day week that has ever been done in the world. Its results can give us many answers as to what the next step will be. Is the 4-day workweek the future? How does that fit in with the ever-increasing flexibility of schedules in the services?
The world of work challenges us every day – will we be able to maintain productivity by working fewer days? What is certain is that you will want to have the best people by your side when the changes come. That’s why at Jobstoday.world we strive every day to connect candidates and companies. We are waiting for you! Let’s work together.