Four 12-hour days or five 10-hour work days - difficult choices ahead of a 4-day work week

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Four 12-hour days or five 10-hour work days - difficult choices ahead of a 4-day work week
Canva
  • 62% of full-time employees in India are in favour of a flexible work routine.
  • 86% of the survey respondents believe that the four-day work week will help them create a better work-life balance.
  • A large section of the people surveyed, 77%, are worried about working longer hours in a 4-day week set-up.
  • 63% are worried about customer frustrations and 62% are concerned about the company performance.
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The pandemic affected lockdowns have brought the focus back to work-life balance, and employees have been seeking four-day working weeks - which will leave them enough time for other pursuits.

As many as 62% of full-time employees in India are in favour of a flexible work routine, according to a survey conducted by Qualtrics, a software company.

The survey says that almost 86% of the respondents believe that the four-day work week will help them create a better work-life balance. It can also improve their productivity and positively impact mental peace.

Most Indian employees who are stressed at work seem to welcome this new trend. “A 4-day work week will be a reality for everyone. There might be different models that will be introduced to suit different work sectors,” said Varda Pendse, an HR expert.

Longer working hours and angry clients

However this schedule might come with its own set of problems, the survey says. A large section of the people surveyed, 77%, are worried about working longer hours. The others, at 64% believe that it will make people lethargic as Friday syndrome could start on Thursday afternoons itself.
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A similar number of people at 63% are worried that customer frustrations will go up and 62% are concerned about how it will affect the company performance. Some of these concerns are shared by Pendse too. 8-9 working hours is fine but once the work day goes to 12 hours, it becomes challenging,” she says.

This new schedule can be challenging for some sectors, especially client and consumer facing businesses.

Judge by results not number of working days

The pandemic induced work from home options have altered the work culture in India. Most respondents of the survey said that remote work has both negative and positive effects on mental health.

As a solution, 88% of the respondents are in support of a new working model in which the performance will be measured by results rather than working hours and days. This manner of working can translate into a four day work week.

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“Being proactive to understand how employees want to work - and the subsequent impact - will enable employers to make informed decisions ensuring the new ways of working adopted align with the varied needs of the entire workforce. This will help solve problems, such as current health and wellbeing challenges, at the root cause,” the report said.

As new working models emerge, organizations and employees might be given multiple options to opt-in and work in shifts or divided schedules.

“The hybrid or 4-day work week will save on real estate and infrastructure costs, and environment sustaining as people will travel less,” said Pendse.
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