What if we had long weekends every week?
According to alfahir.hu, the opportunity of a four-day workweek is proposed on more and more forums. Some people think that it’s only a pipe dream, others think of it as a dangerous illusion. At the same time, the rightfulness of the idea is attested by several research and international examples, not to mention that there is now a Hungarian example as well.
Nyakigláb Kft. makes fences and barriers from wood by hand technique in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County. But this is not why they became famous recently. Their popularity is due to the fact that they introduced a four-day workweek. And they didn’t go bankrupt, in fact, they work even more efficiently.
Five workdays mean five starts and five lunch times, which all take away time from actual working hours. When people arrive at their workplace, they spend half an hour with chatting, changing clothes and getting started with their days on average. After lunch we all sink a bit and need 15 minutes to get back into the swing of work.
“It’s not irrelevant whether this inevitable loss of time happens five times a week or only four times” says the entrepreneur. András Kusinszki also thinks that it’s also not irrelevant whether or not you have to heat up the workplace on a winter Friday.
The forty work-hours a week still remains, meaning that employees have to work two hours more every day, but they still seem to really like the new system. They not only have one plus free day, but they can also do their what-abouts on the fifth day.
“Families slowly have to run as many errands as a smaller enterprise. If the employee has to ask for permission to leave work early, it’s not only inconvenient for the employee, but it also means a loss of working hours for the company” points out Kusinszki.
The new system is not a burden for the enterprise, they can take on the same amount of work than before, in fact, the leader of the company claims that their productivity has even increased.
“People can elaborate their work much more during the new working hours” says Kusinszki, adding that they are able to calculate their deadlines much more efficiently, because two weeks signify eight workdays now. So orders are completed even more on time.
The entrepreneur asks his employees twice every year whether or not they want to stick with the new system. The answer was always a consentaneous ‘yes’. He says that his employees wouldn’t quit the job even for a better salary as they would lose their free Fridays.
András Kusinszki believes that the introduction of the four-day workweek would be worth for bigger companies as well. This wouldn’t need any special change in the labour law, because there’s a chance to make a forty-hour contract, which can be divided anyway the company wants to.
However, a problem can be caused by the fact that many things are adjusted to the eight-hour workdays, from transport schedules to the education system. “If we managed to achieve a more flexible approach in these fields, then it would help to spread the model.”
Alfahir.hu writes that, in the world of Hungarian politics, this idea was first proposed by Jobbik. Politician István Szávay is impressed by the initiation. “To be honest, I really like this initiation. As a member of the parliament I believe that it is important to introduce this topic to common talk.”
4×10 vs. 5×8
The idea of the four-day workweek is no novelty. It was first proposed more than six decades ago by an American trade-union leader, but it was left without echo for a long time. Then, at the time of the 2008 world crisis, employers started thinking about a more effective, modern system. The four-day workweek was officially first permitted in Virginia and Utah States in 2010.
Out of big companies, Google is the most famous for its flexible logistic practice. In certain scope of activities, employers spend the 20% of their working hours on whatever they want. It was shocking to see that most of them work during this time, as well, they only work on something else. The idea of the world’s biggest messaging system, Gmail, or the very profitable online advertising system, AdWords, were born like this, outside the “strict” working time.
A Japanese clothing shop, Uniqlo, made the four-day workweek possible for its employees one year ago, and the model works out just great for them as well. The advantages of the 4×10 working hours vs. the 5×8 working hours were shown by several researches:
- Productivity: An American research has shown that people working in the traditional arrangement are compelled to run private errands while working, which can take up as much as two hours. The four-day workweek could solve this problem.
- Administration: Taking off a day for 10 minutes of bank administration. Devouring your lunch in a few minutes so that you have time to pop out to the post office in the lunch break. These are probably familiar situations to many people. Many would prefer to work until 6 or 7 pm from Monday to Thursday if they could do their what-abouts on Friday.
- Pointless Friday: According to a British survey, employees do actual work until quarter to three on Fridays and then make up alibis and can’t wait for the last hours to pass. The reason behind this phenomenon is not necessarily laziness or negligence, but more so the fact that if it’s your fifth time getting up at dawn, then you are less enthusiastic and chargeable than if it’s only your fourth time.
- Environmental pollution: Just like the Hungarian entrepreneur said: there’s no need to heat up the offices on winter Fridays. This not only saves money, but also saves the environment. This is confirmed by an American study, which adds that, if we go to work only on four days, then we get in the car, or on the pollutant public transport, only four times, as well.
- Healthier workforce: One who has more time for family and friends is happier, more balanced, and, therefore, healthier as well. Jon Ashton, a famous British internist, called on the introduction of a four-day workweek in 2014. The expert pointed out that the health conditions of many people come off badly because they don’t have time, or only have time to go to the doctor in case of an emergency.
Copy editor: bm