Let’s be honest, how many of us have ever taken notice of what appeared in a Green Party manifesto? Nope, didn’t think so.
We bet that has changed this week though as one election promise seemed to stand out for many people – a four day working week. To many people, any party that gives the option of a three-day weekend is well worth voting for is it not? Here we look at whether the four-day working week is all that it is cracked up to be and what implications it may have should this idea ever come to fruition.
The Green Party manifesto promise reads like this: Phase in a 4 day working week (a maximum of 35 hours)' they believe this will leave people feeling fresher as three days off will give them more time to rest and recuperate before going back to work on a Monday.
We can see the logic in all honesty, but we know for a fact that big companies won’t go for it. It’s all about profit and not looking after employees.
The Green party think their idea would be a success and would actually generate more employee output. They believe that people are burnt out because they work too many hours and cannot physically do any more than what they give in four days anyway. They believe that a third day off would give them ample time to recover and they would be far more profitable on the four days that they were in work because they would be much more refreshed.
They used the Swedish model as an example for their plans. The Swedish people work the least hours in western Europe and are said to be a happier and healthier society because of it. They also say their economy has improved because of the changes.
So, how likely is it that we could see an idea like this taking off in Britain?
Not very likely if we’re honest. Big business in this country dominates everything and corporate giants are never going to roll over and accept a four-day week. Plus, there would be so much upset in other areas such as hospitality and catering and leisure.
We have to admit though, as baffled as we normally are by the Green Party’s plans for the country, we think there is some substance to this one.
If research and hard evidence has shown that people are more proactive and have more energy and zest for work when they do four days as opposed to five, why not give it a try? A happy workforce whose output is impressive is surely more beneficial than a workforce who loathes doing their job and slacks off whenever they can because they are exhausted or completely zoned out and have no interest or passion for the end product. In effect, a company could be paying an employee to be more proactive with their time.
A lot of companies and bosses won’t fall for the ‘happy workforce’ mantra and psychology but maybe a trial could show them a different perspective.