Will it increase worker productivity?
The four-day-a-week rule is likely to increase employee productivity. Productivity will not increase if hourly productivity does not increase. Countries like Ireland and the UK already have very high worker productivity, measured as GDP per hour worked. In fact, Ireland’s productivity is among the highest in the world. In 2019 it was $125 an hour. UK productivity is very high overall at $54 an hour. The figures for China and India are $11 and $8, respectively.
GDP will decrease due to decreased productivity
To maintain these productivity levels, working four days a week, employees would have to make a large increase in output per hour. This is a big problem, because if everyone works 20% less overall GDP will fall. In 1988, Japan reduced working hours in a week from 46 to 30. This did not substantially increase its productivity. Between 1988 and 1996, economic output was 20% less than it should have been.
the tension may increase
In a country like Ireland or the UK, drastic measures may be necessary to achieve sufficient productivity. This includes requiring employees to work longer hours per day than before. This will increase the chances of excessive stress, industrial accidents, etc.
Will the employees be happy?
It is claimed that working for four days will make us all happy. Speaking of the hedonic treadmill theory, he argues that lasting added happiness is a mirage. In 2000, France reduced the working day of large companies from 39 hours to 35 hours per week. A subsequent evaluation concluded that it did not improve worker happiness.
The hedonic tape explains why many retirees return to work or why lottery winners stay at their jobs. Also, why in the case of France many workers moved to other jobs or moved to smaller companies. This is why we need to run it experimentally for more than six months before implementing a 4-day-a-week work culture.
some people will suffer
Inequalities in offices may increase further if the rule of working four days a week is applied. Ireland and the UK already suffer from “empty” and polarized labor markets. Older employees may be at a disadvantage by having to do more work in less time. This is what happened in the US, when the average work week was reduced from about 48 hours to 41 during a complete lockdown.
will increase part-time jobs
There is a strong correlation between the reduction in working hours and the increase in part-time jobs. This is because companies that have full-time employees cut back must find part-time workers to avoid a drop in production, especially in the service sector. However, part-time jobs are associated with “low pay and temporary contracts”. Thus, the increase in part-time jobs will reduce total income.
unemployment will decrease
One of the perceived benefits of shortening the work week is reducing unemployment. This is the reason why the working week was shortened in America in the 1930s. This was the right decision considering that in 1933 unemployment was 25%. Unemployment in the UK today stands at 3.7%, the lowest in over 20 years. In Ireland it is 4.7%. While long-term unemployment stands at an insignificant 1.2%. The Irish Times recently said: “There are plenty of jobs in Ireland, but where are the workers?” So it would be strange to reduce the labor supply by cutting everyone’s working hours.
Working 4 days a week will increase the load on many services
The implementation of the rule of working 4 days a week will be a burden for many of these services, where there is already a lot of pressure on weekends. For example, more people would like to travel during the long weekend. Because of this, long queues can be seen at airports.
Low risk measures can be taken
Other low-risk methods can also be adopted to improve working conditions. These can be more effective. These include flexible retirement plans, more official holidays and public holidays.
These are the four new labor codes in India
The four labor codes being implemented by the government include the Wage Code, the Labor Relations Code, the Special Labor Safety Code, the Occupational Health and Conditions (SST) Code, and the Labor and Social Security Code. Significantly, the Ministry of Labor has incorporated 44 types of old labor laws into four main codes to improve labor laws. Many believe that the implementation of these labor codes will greatly benefit employees. The new labor codes were supposed to be implemented from July 1, but remain stalled.