The largest “4-day work day” experiment in history was successful, when will we keep up?

Today is Friday, and today is not just Friday.

Today is the last day before the National Day holiday, so every minute is unbearable, and the air is beating with restless joy.

Today is one week before the National Day make-up work. Today next week, people can see people "speaking nothing but tears" for the holiday.

Today is the day the workers look forward to the most. Because "Is it Friday?" Just getting a "yes" answer means the end of the working day and the beginning of the holiday. This is a happy switching station, the starting station for the rest, after all, we are closed on weekends. But what if it's not two days off, but three days off?

▲ Immediately made a "Is today Friday?" calendar"

Then I guess you will have the same problem as me, is it Thursday?

The largest "4-day work system" in history, most of the employees love it

What is the 4-day workweek?

It's four days off and three days off, and one more day off with the same salary, which is another important factor for people to envy the Nordic people.

Of course, it's not just Northern Europe that has a 4-day workday. In addition to Iceland, Sweden and Ireland, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has publicly suggested that domestic companies evaluate the 4-day workweek to stimulate tourism.

▲ The Prime Minister of New Zealand who proposed a 4-day workday

Microsoft also launched the "Work-Life Choice Challenge" in Japan in the summer of 2019.

Microsoft's attempt in Japan is also to work for 4 days and rest for 3 days, which is also well received. The difference is that Microsoft did not insist on this plan in Japan after all. Although up to 92% of employees are satisfied with this challenge, the company also found that the efficiency of employees has increased by 40%, but in the new "Challenge" in winter, Microsoft Japan is still There is no "paid special leave" on Friday.

Since the reviews are so good, why not continue? Don't you want to?

In order to give the world a better answer, the non-profit organization 4 Day Week Global organization, the British think tank Autonomy, the University of Cambridge, Boston College and the University of Oxford researchers jointly conducted a large-scale society on the 4-day, 8-hour work system with constant wages Experiment, collaboratively study where the 4-day workday works and where it doesn't.

More than 70 companies and more than 3,300 employees participated in the six-month trial of the world's largest "four-day workday" trial, which began on June 6 in the UK. Now more than halfway through, the experiment has returned mid-term findings — 35 of the 41 companies that participated in the survey said it was “likely” or “very likely” to continue reducing their weekly working hours after the pilot.

In the survey, 34% of respondents felt that the system "slightly improved" work efficiency, while 15% felt that work efficiency was significantly improved. But the majority (46%) believe that the system has changed and work efficiency has not changed. As for whether the transition to the four-day work week was smooth, 98% of users thought it was relatively smooth – if you're not used to going to work, who can't be used to taking vacations?

▲ Companies participating in this trial

On top of that, 88% of respondents said the four-day workweek at the current stage of the trial had made their business "good". In this survey, the experiment sponsor asked a series of questions, on a scale of 1 to 5, and gave answers. This shows that most of the respondents believe that the 4-day working system does not affect the daily work and business progress.

Executives and employees who participated in the trial were also generous in giving positive reviews. Employees say the experiment has allowed them to rethink the true value of everything they do. He believes that the purpose of the 4-day work system is not to complete the same work in a shorter time, but to improve his work efficiency through different measures.

Here, too, the executives involved in the experiment have a say.

Why do we need more time off?

The CEO of Trio Media, a marketing firm involved in the trial, said: “The four-day workweek has been very successful for us so far. Productivity has remained high and the health of our team members has improved. We are also doing better financially.”

CPOs of nursing company Outcomes First Group believe that the 4-day workweek can help improve productivity, as well as in their field of educational nursing. "We think this will be more challenging. While it's still early in the trial, our confidence in continuing beyond the trial is growing and the impact of the system on the health of colleagues is clear."

Waterwise, a water-saving organization, believes that the 4-day work system also needs to be adapted, and it is not as simple as an extra day of vacation. With the new system in place, it's difficult to get a colleague to get everything in order if someone asks for a leave of absence, so sometimes more effort is required.

But we still managed to stick to the four-day workday and work hard to maintain standard hours, which our entire team was very willing to do. We all love the moment when we leave the office and come back ready to be fully committed to work. This is great for our health and our productivity has increased.

Most of the migrant workers are basically willing to join the team of the 4-day work system reform. The reason is very simple. No one likes to take a holiday, especially when the salary is unchanged.

After all, the only thing that can stop migrant workers from refusing vacations is wages. The Swiss public has previously opposed the proposal to extend the statutory holiday, because it is an illusion to work less and get the same salary. But when the salary was the same, he just proposed to shorten the working hours, which also got a lot of applause.

▲ The Swiss Internet company seerow also implements a 4-day working system

Studies have shown that 89% of people only need 1-2 days of rest to feel less stress, which proves that rest is also an essential stress relief channel for people. A survey by Henley Business School in the UK found that 77% of employees said the four-day workweek had significantly improved their quality of life. After Sweden experimented with a six-hour workweek, nurses who took part were healthier, happier, and more active — with fewer sick days.

Wang Qiyan, director of the Leisure Economy Research Center of Renmin University of China, is also a supporter of the 4-day work system. He believes that this method is conducive to improving efficiency. At the same time, shortening working hours can also give people more opportunities to explore the meaning of life and improve people's lives. quality and happiness, and reduce the degree of traffic congestion.

To put it simply, after more vacations, the waist is not sore, the legs are not sore, and people are happier. Not only do you not need to take sick leave, you can spend more time doing the things you want to do and taking care of your family.

As long as wages don't slide, no one doesn't like taking more vacations.

fake a little more

Ideal is full, the reality is very skinny.

Chinese migrant workers are still on the road of protesting against 996 and the normal weekends, and the 4-day work system is still far away from us. But it’s far from hopeless, and who wouldn’t want a little more free time?

▲ 4-day working system – there is a small holiday every week

Today, more trials of the 4-day workday are concentrated in Europe, and these pioneers are not without problems. Many people have found that this system is currently not suitable for many specific industries.

In 2008, the United States tried a one-year "four-day working day" test, which saved energy costs and transportation costs, and worked 10 hours a day, with the total working hours unchanged. But the experiment went on for a few years and was scrapped because the government agency's Friday break caused a lot of trouble for people who didn't know how to handle online business – of course, the experiment may have a different outcome today.

▲ The 4-day work system was discussed in the New York Times in 1970

In fact, while we are still a long way from the 4-day workday, it is still very promising. After all, we have been implementing two-day holidays for less than 30 years. While productivity is gradually improving, employers are paying more and more attention to employee benefits. Maybe we can expect three-day holidays in the future.

In the beginning, human beings really had no boundaries between work and rest. People lived by hunting. They needed work when they were hungry, and they could rest when they were full. Even if there is a concept of time later, the work mode is still bound by land and taxes. Morningside manages the famine and filth, and it is a reality to return with a moon and a hoe. If you don’t insist on farming every day, you will probably starve. The crops of geography don’t care whether you want to rest or not.

We have to wait until the economic crisis and the great development of productivity before weekends come. When the economic crisis came in 1929, more and more people could not find work. For the sake of social harmony, many governments introduced the regulation of 5 days off and 2, just to allow more people to have jobs. The Industrial Revolution is the basis for government regulations. Productivity has already risen, and companies should employ a few more people.

In China, we had to wait until May 1, 1995, before we started to have two weekends. In my mother's words, my life before that was: "One day off on Sunday, one day on New Year's Day, three days for Spring Festival, no vacation on May 1, three days on National Day, and no vacation for five years before work." In this comparison, I feel that after 7 days of rest, make-up classes are acceptable.

But life always has to look forward, but few go backwards. It is the general trend to pay more and more attention to the combination of work and rest, and to pay more and more attention to employee welfare. Therefore, it has changed from no rest day to single rest, then from single rest to double rest, and double rest and three rests. This is also likely to be a change that has slowly occurred in 100 years.

▲ The social environment in the year when the double-off system was born

Let’s take a look at the hidden conditions that the two-day weekend became a regulation: greatly improved production efficiency, high unemployment in the economic downturn, and people are more concerned about corporate welfare.

Compared with today's environment where new technologies such as artificial intelligence are added to the production process faster, it seems that the 4-day work system is not so far away.

The title picture comes from: We who cannot be beasts

Not too interesting, not too optimistic.

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