How many hours in a week do you work? Now, this question is becoming more and more important but it is very difficult to answer. When the manufacturing industry was booming and people were engaged in factories, the nature of the job was different. Similarly in when a man runs a shop, his job is based on his presence. Because in such kind of jobs, when you leave the workplace, your work is mostly over. The work in a factory, a shop or such other places can be counted in hours. It may be eight or twelve hours, but still countable.
As the service industry evolves, as technology evolves, people’s working hours become increasingly difficult to count. Even when people come home, they are connected to their work via mobile or email or WhatsApp. Due to which their work is not only limited to the office but also intrudes in their personal lives. It has resulted in improper work-life balance. It is possible for some young couples, having both spouses working, to have their own laptop on in the bedroom.
Due to this new trend, campaigns to set fixed working hours are gaining momentum in Europe and other developed countries. According to a recent survey conducted in the UK, the average employee works 8 hours a day. This is still less than the average hours of work in India. But seeing the stressful situation is created, it seems that everyone should be a little more aware of their working hours.
Another important question for us is how much time spent on work is actually effectively utilized? According to this survey, productivity is reduced by spending more hours at work. It compares the UK with other countries. According to its findings, employees in the Germany work an average of 1.5 hours less per week than in the UK, but their productivity is 1.8% more than UK employees. Likewise in Denmark, having 8 hours lesser working hours per week than the UK, employees are 1.5% more productive.
In some countries, a four-day work schedule is underway. Last year, the four-day workforce was started experimentally by New Zealand’s Trust Fund ‘Perpetual Guardian’. The working days for its employees were reduced from five to four. There was no reduction in salary. The result was that employee productivity increased. Despite working an average of 8 hours less per week. In addition to productivity, employees were found to be more engaged with their work, gaining a better understanding of the subject, and reported that their work-life balance had improved. Their stress decreased, their health improved and their family relationships got better. According to the findings, when the person has enough income, job security and personal time, such benefits can be achieved by reducing working hours.
The society changes, the economy changes and government rules also change. Our society is still at a different stage where we will find a mixed response to such ideas. As people in the developed world do not have to worry about basic necessities like food, education, and housing, their focus has shifted to improving physical and mental health and increasing happiness. We, too, have always emphasized the importance of keeping life balanced and inclusive.
The experiment of having a four-day week is noticeable. Let’s see if there will be a four-day week in the future.