Team-BHP > Around the Corner > Shifting gears


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 20th August 2019, 11:42   #76
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 127
Thanked: 316 Times
Default Re: The 4-day working week?

This is an interesting thread. I've always maintained that while work-life balance is paramount, it is also partially the luxury afforded to the well off and the rich.

As a fresher I remember putting in insane hours while very few seniors did the same; they had a work life balance. Now, apart from few times a month (when there are deals to work on or deliverables) there is a good work life balance in my life. I read extensively, workout 6 days a week, blog, and etcetera.

Contrast this work-life balance to China's 996 working style (for the uninitiated it is 9am to 9pm, 6 days a week) and the way China's tech industries are growing, would the rest of the world still work 5 or 4 days a week, say, 10 years down the line?

I'm not in favour of in sane working hours on a regular basis. It is fine once in a while, but shouldn't be the norm, but push comes to shove, extra hours will become the norm, slowly.

I wonder how things will pan out 20 years from now when we will be in an AI upheaval, when most of the jobs are replaced but not all and rest are in the process of being replaced.
ValarMorghulis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th August 2019, 17:23   #77
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Hyd
Posts: 259
Thanked: 21 Times
Default Re: The 4-day working week?

The organization i work for is currently studying and working on impacts for the 4 day a week working. The formula only might work for few departments though, the logic is not reduce pay, the person works an hour or 2 extra a day to cover up that 5th day and get the 3 days off. Slight work life balance might get impacted but to a little extent. Cab usage would be less, savings for the co and better for the environment etc. Not opposed to it, but nothing like testing it out.
nosfreak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th August 2019, 18:26   #78
BHPian
 
vrprabhu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: ??
Posts: 990
Thanked: 600 Times
Default Re: The 4-day working week?

Most of the people in the industry I work for (banking) have one common grouse - long working hours.

In my earlier days, I used to believe that the higher you climb, the lesser you work. Quite the contrary - at the top management level, we are invariably among the early arrivals at work and sit late every day. Have coined it as FTCLTG (First to Come, Last to Go!).

Seven day week takes place for a month at least each quarter. And there are branches where Sunday is a working day and some other day is weekly holiday.

When 2nd and 4th Saturday's were made holidays, the other Saturday's were made full day!!

When others - RBI, Insurance etc. - work 5 days, why should Bank's work 6?

Take solace when I see supermarket cashiers, policemen on duty etc. At least we have an air-conditioned office and most of the creature comforts....

Point I am trying to make is, 4 day working week cannot be a norm. And, as long as work expands to fill time (at least in our country) it will result in lost time. Instead, a five day week, with defined productivity of 8 hours a day, will be a better alternative.
vrprabhu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th August 2019, 18:40   #79
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Delhi-NCR
Posts: 2,052
Thanked: 15,093 Times
Default Re: The 4-day working week?

Everything is relative to what you are used to. At the start of my working life we had a six day week. Saturday evenings and late Sunday mornings were the sweetest moments on earth. And as Monday morning was looming up you squeezed the utmost out of that one Sunday. And then we moved to a 5-day week long after the rest of the world and all of a sudden I had more time than I knew what to do with. What I used to get done at home on one Sunday now got spread between a 2-day weekend. Now that most of us have a 2-day weekend it suddenly seems not good enough. 35 years from now we might have a thread on the need for a 3-day week!!!.

In the 1970s and 1980s or 1990s people worked hard, had long days, dealt with lousy bosses and demanding customers, coped with office politics, suffered job fatigue etc. On the work front per se there is little that the young employee of today copes with that is different from when I started off in 1982. What is different are the following, amongst some others - social media pressure to keep up; anxiety about am I ahead in the race; the mainline media and social media always talking of stress of this and stress of that; and I dare say there may be some mismatch in our minds on the effort reward equation. My children are all working now and I don't see them facing a work environment any worse than I did. The pay of course in real terms is several times higher - good for them.

If the world economy goes into a tumble which it might with the brewing trade wars it is likely that a 4-day week will be consigned to the store room.
V.Narayan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th August 2019, 18:59   #80
Senior - BHPian
 
clevermax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Tvm/Amsterdam
Posts: 1,726
Thanked: 716 Times
Default Re: The 4-day working week?

Surprising to see that vast majority is not in favor of a 4 day work week so far! I'm all for it, yes I am

It appears to me that all the above views deliberately try to be so inconclusive about it, saying that it depends on the company, the type of work and all that. However, I am of the opinion that the amount of "energy" that one can spend on work during a week is more of less fixed, and if one is willing, and able to spend that during a 4 day work week, well and good. Some may even end up putting some more on the fifth day, and they will be much more relaxed and creative because it is not an official day at work (IMO, Creativity dies when there is stress).

For the for 3.5 years of my career starting year 2000, I had to work 6 days a week. It felt so good to switch over to a 5 day work week afterwards, and I never felt that I was contributing less in a 5 day workweek than a 6 day workweek. As years pass by, as one's roles and responsibilities change, I feel that a 4 day workweek is probably not going to stop one from contributing to their full potential. Of course that depends on what you're entrusted with. For example, if you have to think, envision & design things, this suits well. If your job is more task oriented, this may not fit well.

Disclaimer: Yes, I have to agree that a 4 day work week will not be practical in some industries/sectors.

Last edited by clevermax : 20th August 2019 at 19:15.
clevermax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th August 2019, 21:17   #81
BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: bang
Posts: 197
Thanked: 228 Times
Default Re: The 4-day working week?

When Europe wants to work 4 days a week that means that few in the third world (that's us btw) need to work 6.5 days.

If you think that European/ American companies would allow an lota drop in their productivity / profitability for the sake of some utopian law, then you are mistaken my friends.

Some of the views expressed here , no offense ment, would be music to their ears.

P S : I am all for 4 day work week with 3 days off with compulsory rationing of tv / cable / internet during off days. Think you can handle that?.
srini1785 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st August 2019, 00:11   #82
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Delhi
Posts: 4,596
Thanked: 14,360 Times
Default The 4-day working week?

Quote:
Originally Posted by srini1785 View Post
When Europe wants to work 4 days a week that means that few in the third world (that's us btw) need to work 6.5 days.



If you think that European/ American companies would allow an lota drop in their productivity / profitability for the sake of some utopian law, then you are mistaken my friends.

.

Could you elaborate on this correlation between Europe working less and the third world working more?

Just to put the record straight, or at least your apparent perception; these are not utopian law. They are actual laws/regulation in many (western) countries .

By law I decide how many hours I would like to work and it is up to my employer to make it work. If you read the article, did a bit of research you will find that countries and companies that have embraced this are doing really well. The ones criticizing this approach tend to be the ones, that have not even tried to implement it.

I have worked and dealt with part time working in organizations in several western European countries and the USA. My experience is that it does increase employee satisfaction, engagement and loyalty. Less sick leave and a far more effective organization.

The biggest blockers are management and remarkably, colleagues. If management doesn't believe it, facilitates and promotes it, it is dead in the water before it is started. Unfortunately, there are still many very traditional (dare I say it, male) managers out there who have very little empathy with the real world. Their world is what happens at the office, the factory, the warehouse etc. The more time you spend there, the better you are doing.

The world just needs to get rid of managers like that.

Unfortunately, colleagues can be quite a hindrance as well. If everybody keeps calling you on your day off and is affronted if you don't pick up the phone , don't respond to mails, it is not going to work. Again, management needs to make sure staff finds practical solutions on all of this.

If anything, to be very honest, this whole part time working is already a pretty dated concept in quite a number of organizations. As mentioned by some members the whole concept of private time versus work time is becoming a thing of the past for many organizations and Roles. How to deal with it? the USA and in some western Countries you see the next level emerging already. You let teams and individuals decide when and how much they work and how much and when and how they take time off.

Management or rather leadership is empowering people to be as self propelling as can be.

In the end it is all about attitude, nothing else. You need to understand what makes an organization successful. And that goes way beyond the classic P&L approach.

Obviously, it takes time to implement these sort of concepts. An important part is culture and values. Look at our threads about immigrating to a foreign country. That is all about making a better career and earning more money. Not about having a better, more full filling life and a good work-life balance.

That is no criticism, everybody has their own priorities and more importantly values in life. But of course, some of them are influenced by the culture, environment you grew up in and or find yourself.

The most important thing in life is to keep an open mind and keep asking questions. If you do not agree with something you need to ask more questions to get more insight. Dismissing off hand new and different ways of doing things, embracing different values, is neither constructive, nor will it make you a more informed person.

Jeroen
Jeroen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd August 2019, 09:35   #83
BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: bang
Posts: 197
Thanked: 228 Times
Default Re: The 4-day working week?

Mr. Jeroen,

I did not make a general comment like :

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Europe working less and the third world working more.
I specifically wrote :
---------------------------

When Europe wants to work 4 days a week that means that few in the third world (that's us btw) need to work 6.5 days.
---------------------------

with the word " Few" .


When i made that comment , what i had in mind were the workforce in certain labor intensive, highly outsourced sectors like, say, the apparel industry. If workers (in the west) in these sectors start working less , IMHO , their management would certainly think in terms of offloading more work to the third world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
By law I decide how many hours I would like to work and it is up to my employer to make it work.
Labor laws , are made to protect employee interest only. The other side of the coin are the corporate laws which also encourage entrepreneurs to maximize profitability. My point is that a 4 day working week may not be a one-size-fit-all solution to work life balance.
srini1785 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd August 2019, 10:11   #84
Distinguished - BHPian
 
mayankk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 4,408
Thanked: 4,171 Times
Default Re: The 4-day working week?

I used to work for the office of the firm HQ'd in Paris. When I joined up, I told the local guy that I had a newborn, and hoped that their's was a 5 day working week. He told me to WFH on friday's!!!
Luckily, I quit that job quite soon, or else I would have been in some problems.
Here's why. When I began working, I had a fixed 5.5 day working week, but that half a day usually meant that the saturday's were destroyed. When I went to business where it was a 5 day week, It was absolute bliss!! But then I had to go back to a 6 day organization, and it was pure hell. Not just the lost day, but also a feeling of anger about how i was being "forced" to work on a Saturday. I know!
Which was why I was lucky that I didn't work too long in a four day work environment.

So, if I was sure that the company I work for is the one that I am going to retire from, bring on the four day work week. Else, a 5 day week is more than balanced enough.
mayankk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd August 2019, 12:14   #85
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Delhi
Posts: 4,596
Thanked: 14,360 Times
Default Re: The 4-day working week?

Quote:
Originally Posted by srini1785 View Post
When Europe wants to work 4 days a week that means that few in the third world (that's us btw) need to work 6.5 days.

When i made that comment , what i had in mind were the workforce in certain labor intensive, highly outsourced sectors like, say, the apparel industry. If workers (in the west) in these sectors start working less , IMHO , their management would certainly think in terms of offloading more work to the third world.

Labor laws , are made to protect employee interest only. The other side of the coin are the corporate laws which also encourage entrepreneurs to maximize profitability.
A few thoughts/comments. There are certain jobs when people start working less, others need to take up the slack. Certainly roles that require physical presence. E.g. a nurse, cashier at a till in a shop/bank. Those are also roles which can not be offshored of course.

Simplified: If for instance you need a till to be open 40 hours in a week, 5x8 hours you can get one person to do so, or for instance two persons working 30 and 10 hours, or two persons 20 hours. As I pointed out earlier, at least in the Netherlands the wages would be adjusted pro-rato. That is for the employee. However for the employer it tends to work out slightly different. That is due to how tax, pension and social security works. Not all of that is pro-rato. So employing two people to work a total of 40 hours, compared to one person working 40 hours tends to be a little more expensive for the employer. However, what most find, the little extra cost is easily of set by the benefits to both employee and employer. In most of Europe if you go on sick leave, your employer still ends up paying you your full salary, pension, social security etc. Reducing sick leave by just 1% tends to be huge financial benefit for companies and boost employee engagement and productivity.

I have been involved in in/outsourcing and offshoring for more than two decades.
Our approach has always been to offshore complete functions. So if you have for instance a back office function, say invoice validation and payment, leaving parts of the organisation in the original country and move only part of it to an offshore centre, tends to create all sort of issues. So people wanting to work a little less is not a criteria for moving roles/work/activities off shore. The criteria is in the role itself.

Let their be no mistake, ultra large organisation, corporates or a one man self employed outfit needs to make money/margin. It is not a charity. Without making money it just seizes to exist.

What has begun to change over the last decade or so, that companies, big and small, are beginning to understand that they need to pay attention to other criteria than just financial performance. E.g. the environment, employees etc.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/19/the-...objective.html

Of course, this is a slow shift and the pace is very different region to region, country to country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by srini1785 View Post
My point is that a 4 day working week may not be a one-size-fit-all solution to work life balance.
It definitely is not, see my earlier comments in previous points. But it is something that is very much enjoyed by those who do. Companies in the west will actively promote flexible and less working hours in job advertisement. People might not apply if the only option is a 40 hour a week contract.

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 22nd August 2019 at 12:17.
Jeroen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd August 2019, 15:21   #86
BHPian
 
rajvardhanraje's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Pune
Posts: 58
Thanked: 69 Times
Default Re: The 4-day working week?

I worked for almost 1 year in the Netherlands on a project back in 2016. The work life balance I saw there was a revelation. The standard work hours were 40 and in no way was anyone pressurized to work more. More importantly, working for longer hours was not something that was considered as a way to prove your value to the company. It was completely based on the quality of work done in the 40 hours. Quite different from the work environment I was used to. In some of previous organizations I worked in, working for longer hours was a parameter considered by the managers irrespective of the quality or quantity of work done.

One difference that I observed was that almost everyone spent complete 8 hours a day working without much breaks. Lot of them would even have lunch on their work desk. For us, we would spend 10 hours at the office with effective work done for 8 hours owing to time spent on whatsapp or other social media.

Netherlands had some policy for a 36 hour work week for those with young kids. Not too sure about it's details but a lot of guys would work for 9 hours a day and 4 days a week. For a working couple with young kids, I believe it is very beneficial. They would each have one day off during the weekday effectively enabling them to spend more time with the kids.

Also for working on weekends or working late on weekdays, I needed permission from my manager. Something that even they were not too keen about.
rajvardhanraje is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th November 2019, 06:51   #87
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 75
Thanked: 61 Times
Default Microsoft Japan's 4-day working week experiment

Microsoft Japan's 4 day working week experiment in Aug 2019 leads to a 40% productivity jump.

Mashable India: Microsoft Japan's 4-Day Work Week Boosted Productivity By 40 Percent.
https://in.mashable.com/tech/8142/mi...-by-40-percent

Last edited by DigitalOne : 5th November 2019 at 06:52. Reason: Url correction
DigitalOne is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 5th November 2019, 07:55   #88
Senior - BHPian
 
Sebring's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Dubai/Bengaluru
Posts: 1,220
Thanked: 2,520 Times
Default Re: The 4-day working week?

The world shifted to a 5 day week, but being in communications/branding we still work all 7 days. 4 days sounds like pipe-dream and a holiday. LOL
Sebring is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wayanad - 2 day / 3-day itinerary? rajushank84 Route / Travel Queries 21 5th November 2011 13:19
Track day at Chennai (pnp) - Last week of Aug 2010 raajks Indian Motorsport 33 1st September 2010 20:05
Inter-State Goa Meet : Aug 16th, Independence Day Week-end mobike008 The Team-BHP Meet Section 256 21st August 2008 18:08
hey guyz the feul prices are rising day by day toy car Shifting gears 2 11th May 2006 17:57


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 06:09.

Copyright 2000 - 2019, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks