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Shorter Work Week, Anyone?
Jul 09, 2021
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I was surprised to know that in Iceland, they implemented a shorter work week from five to four days in a week and said to be successful. According to an online article, Iceland researchers found that “a four-day workweek, without a pay cut, improved workers' well-being and productivity” (https://www.usatoday.com/). 

They also affirmed that worker wellbeing dramatically increased across a range of indicators, from perceived stress and burnout to health and work-life balance.” The study was conducted in four years with researchers trailing 2,500 employees who cut down their workweek 35 to 36 hours.

This is a noteworthy feat for most workers today who are still working five days a week as salaried employees. This study proved that workers’ productivity is no longer based on how long a worker stays on their job and that they can be productive even for shorter working hours.

When I was still a salaried employee, I worked for more than eight hours to cope with the voluminous workload although it did not happen on a regular basis. It means that we, employees, experience more workload on a seasonal basis. 

On the other hand, productivity incentives were given based on our attendance. For example, even if you had worked for more than eight hours, the management still deducted the number of times we were absent.

For the company, being absent meant an employee was not productive at the time he was not in the office to work. However, as employees, we also counted the hours we spent for overtime work as it was also part of our regular work hours and even exceeded the regular work hours.

At the end of the day, the company decision still prevailed. This had caused employees to have low morale and until I was separated from the company, the same policies were followed when productivity incentives were given. I heard that some employees resigned because of what they claim was an “unfair labor practice” by the company.

On the brighter side of things, this research in Iceland is a good motivation for many employees because, without salary cuts, they can go to work for only four days in a week, with more time for employees to attend to some personal and family matters at home.

Having shorter work hours can also imply reduced stress among employees, less physical exhaustion, and more work-life balance opportunities for them.

I am sure as a former employee myself, these shorter work hours boosts more motivation and efficiency among employees for they have at least enough time to rest and be prepared for the coming work week.  

If Iceland's study is implemented, I think this will attract more employees to report for office work as companies nowadays want more employees to come to work after more than a year of working from home. These days, after a year of lockdown and confinement, workers are changing their minds about work settings. Most of them want to leave the company, start afresh with a new job offering work from home arrangements, or be engaged in a business venture.

If companies reduce the workweek, employees may have a change of mind and consider reporting to work in the office building rather than at home. I am not sure about it, and it is only my hypothesis as the workforce these days is becoming unpredictable and volatile.

For more motivation and productivity in the workplace, I think it is best to consider the working conditions of the employee such as providing them with ergonomic office furniture such as tables and chairs which could give them comfort and assurance of safety during work.

For example, an ergonomic standing desk will be perfect for an employee to work on as they can work sitting or standing with height-adjustable desks.  

FlexiSpot has a wide range of ergonomic home office products where you can select the best to suit your needs in the office or at home. One highly recommendable is the  Standing Desk Pro Series-Extra large desktop that has awesome features to reckon with.

  • It has a greater loading capacity of up to 275 lbs. It means that aside from your PC or laptop, you can also place other essentials on this desk such as books, office supplies as it supports heavy objects that you need to finish your work efficiently and productively
  • The advanced all-in-one keypad enables you to change your posture with three memory height presets and a programmable sit/stand reminder system so that you are alerted when it is time to sit or stand. As such, changing postures enable you to move and this prevents discomfort and possible muscular strain.
  • The dual-motor system makes each leg stronger and more powerful supporting overall weight capacity and at the same time maximizing stability, speed, smoothness, and strength
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The desktop can be bamboo which is harder than wood and this desktop has undergone a thorough design and drying process to prevent mold from forming and to maintain its beauty.

You may also want to have a laminated desktop that has 10 different color options available such as black, white, maple, mahogany, etc. to suit your preferred color scheme.

The solid Wood desktop is harder than ordinary wood that is made free of harmful chemicals and designed for utmost durability to last a lifetime.  

The desk is guaranteed sturdy with stable construction that is made with powder-coated steel tubing. The desk frame is scratch and stain-resistant providing maximum stability even at the highest setting.

With these wonderful features, you will really want to own this desk to work on efficiently and productively. Owning one will make you more motivated to do your tasks or to do other personal activities as you wish.

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