Is having employees work less the answer for companies looking to be more successful?
Thirty companies in the UK are looking to find out through a pilot program that will run for six months, and guess what? The idea of a shorter workweek seems to be gaining steam in the United States.
As for the British, the companies in the study will allow their staff to work up to 32 hours per week without cutting their wages or benefits. You read that correctly. They will be paid the same, for working 20% less.
Why? Proponents of the plan think that productivity improves with corresponding gains in the well-being of workers.
What about people that enjoy their job? And like going to the office? They are apparently what are commonly referred to as “dinosaurs” because the trend in the U.S. and worldwide is to work less.
The trend started in Iceland a few years ago. Last summer, the Icelandic government reported that 86% of the country’s workforce “are now working shorter hours or gaining the right to shorten their hours.”
In America, a group of Democrats in Congress introduced a bill to shorten the work week from 40 to 32 hours. If that bill passed, companies that require employees to work more than 32 hours would be forced to pay overtime.
There are companies in the United States that have already put into place workdays that are now four days and 32-hours.
Is everyone in love with this new trend in working less? No. Economists have pointed to blue-collar workers, who choose to work longer hours and often times need those extra hours to make ends meet. The last thing they want is to be sitting at home, not making money for their families.