Saturday, July 14, 2018

12 Surprising Benefits Of Having Three-Day Weekends All The Time

Labor Day is just around the corner and most of us can hardly wait until it comes. The constant rush and bustle of our busy workdays can really take a toll on us and an extra chance to recharge and spend some much needed time with the ones we love is always appreciated.

As we enjoy the long weekend, we may start to ask ourselves why we can't do this every week. After all, weekends usually feel so short and having an extra day seems like just the ticket to be invigorated and ready when it's time to go back to work.

If you've often felt this way, you may be onto something. While many of us have flirted with the idea of the four-day work week on this side of the world, there are some serious efforts underway in parts of Europe to make it a reality. Sweden, in particular, has taken the idea and run with it, with many areas going as far as to shorten the work day to six hours.

While many of us would certainly like this extra day off, it's still surprising to learn exactly how many positive changes could take place both at work and in society in general if we actually took the plunge.

With that in mind, here are 12 improvements we could all see with a permanent three-day weekend.

COMMENT and let us know what you would do with an extra day.

1. It could help the environment.

According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, switching to a four-day work week could lower U.S. carbon emission levels back down to where they were in 1990. In fact, their data suggests emissions would end up three percent lower than they were back then.

2. The United States would also save on energy consumption.

Keeping office lighting, air conditioning, computers, and other equipment off for another day would lead to a 20 percent reduction in energy use. This not only helps the emissions we talked about, but it also cuts costs for the business.

3. A four-day week would reduce stress-related diseases and turnover.

Work week reduction programs in Sweden have been found to ensure workers are satisfied enough to stay with their employers. Public health experts in Britain are also recommending it as a means of addressing physical problems linked to overwork like high blood pressure.

There's also the possibility that people might feel inclined to exercise on their days off, which would further reduce these ill effects.

4. A longer weekend may also curb the rise of work-related mental health issues.

The British public health experts also noted that anxiety and depression can be causes or effects of work-related public health issues, which was also part of why they recommended shortening the work week.

5. It can help our relationships with our families.

Many people are struggling to achieve a work/life balance and reconcile their family commitments with their work responsibilities and having a longer weekend could do a lot to bridge that gap.

6. Just adjusting a day per week can add up to some major time off for employees.

The Center for Economic and Policy Research worked out that the change would amount to seven additional weeks of time off for workers.

7. Existing programs are showing reduced workplace sickness.

Swedish businesses that shortened the work week have reported healthier employees and reduced sick leave among their staff. And the change could help even when it is necessary to take a sick day.

8. A four-day workweek could help to reduce "presenteeism."

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that many businesses focus on attendance over actual performance when deciding to terminate employees. The resulting fears over job security compel employees to work when they're sick, which allows diseases to spread throughout work environments.

A program like this, that puts less emphasis on how much you're at work and more on what you're doing when you get there, could help managers rethink some of these organizational problems.

Speaking of management, there are also some incentives for them to shorten the workweek besides employee satisfaction.

9. Shorter work weeks can increase productivity.

That's been the result for Swedish businesses that are trying it out, anyway. Some employees reported working at about 80 percent capacity during the standard workweek but found they got much more done with Sweden's six-hour work days.

This was because workers found that having fewer hours inspired more efficient use of the hours they had and managers were less likely to hold unnecessary meetings.

10. This time adjustment was also found to improve innovation.

With more time available to think and less stress weighing on their minds, Swedish employees who experienced shorter workweeks found their creativity increased.

The six-hour work day also provided some incentive for new ideas on how to make each hour count.

11. Longer weekends could also reduce unemployment.

British public health experts said the standard workweek involves a "maldistribution of work" where people are either overworked or unemployed and they considered both to be harmful extremes.

Hiring new employees to make up for the resting ones would introduce some balance and Swedish employers have found that the increased productivity offsets the cost of hiring more workers.

12. It may prepare us for the crises of the future.

A report from Oxford University suggested that 47 percent of American jobs will end up being computerized and Alex Williams from the City University of London argued that changing the workweek to four days will be "essential to make life liveable under these changed economic conditions."  

Don't forget to COMMENT and tell us if you think adding another day to the weekend is a good idea.


Author: verified_user