A recent strike by the United Auto Workers against General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis brought attention to an idea that has been growing in popularity: the four-day workweek. Alongside demands for a pay raise and increased job security, union members are pushing for a 32-hour workweek with no pay cuts.
The concept of shortening the workweek has gained traction in recent years, fueled by the flexibility of remote work during the pandemic and concerns about the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs. Senator Bernie Sanders has been a vocal advocate for a shortened workweek, arguing that as productivity increases due to advancements in technology, the benefits should be shared by workers.
Trials of four-day workweeks have already been conducted in several countries. The largest trial, held in the United Kingdom last year, involved 2,900 workers across 61 companies. Participants reported positive outcomes such as improved sleep, more time with family, and reduced burnout.
A separate study conducted in Iceland between 2015 and 2019 found that reducing the number of work days did not lead to a decrease in productivity. In the United States and Canada, a similar program involving multiple businesses found that none of the companies planned to return to the traditional five-day workweek after the trial ended.
Supporters of a four-day workweek argue that it would provide individuals with more time for personal and family activities, allowing them to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives. The reduction in working hours may also contribute to improved mental health and overall well-being.
While the idea of a shorter workweek has gained momentum, there are still concerns about its feasibility and impact on industries that rely on continuous operations. However, as discussions and experiments continue, it is clear that the four-day workweek is a concept worth exploring further.
– Source article: CNN