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4-Day Work Week & 6-Hour Work Day - Thoughts?

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15 minutes ago, MVP RULZ said:

I work Thursday-Monday and have Tuesday and Wednesdays off which is nice for me and also means for every week I book off work (Thurs-Mon) I get 9 days off in  row which works out well for me.

This has me really confused. Are you just saying that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are your weekend? How does that affect how much time you get off for how much leave you take? Isn't that the same as me booking 5 days off and having 7 days of no work??

My assumption with this 4 day business is that permanent salaried employees will make the same amount of money for less time worked. I don't know how that shakes out for hourly/daily rate people though. I guess they will get screwed? Or the market rates will have to adjust to make those roles still competitive..?

Edited by Chest Rockwell

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It would depend on things moving from a society where you're paid for the time you work and instead are paid dependent on the work actually being done. I could fit my work into a 4 day week or 6 hour days and be able to argue that as the amount of work being done remains the same, I shouldn't get a pay-cut. However, for someone working in retail for example, it's difficult to argue that they're doing the same amount of work in fewer hours.

@Chest Rockwell assuming you work Monday-Friday and booked 5 days off, you'd also have 9 days of of no work, taking the weekend at the start and end into account. or that's how I figure it!

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When I was at Waitrose I worked 5 days 9pm-6am. They then truncated it into 4 days 8pm-7am so it can work for retail. I obviously much preferred working 4 days. 

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7 minutes ago, Chest Rockwell said:

Yes, you guys are right. But that still leaves me very confused with @MVP RULZ 's post.

Yeah, it reads like he thought his days meant he gets extra compared to anyone else who books a week off work. Maybe he meant something else, though.

On a similar note, I’ve got a friend who can’t grasp the concept that there are three working days between Christmas and New Years. Five working days, minus two bank holidays, always equals three. But he won’t have it, and he will always argue the toss - “but next year, Christmas is on a Saturday so there’s only two working days” or some such - then manually go through the days before accepting it.

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I worked in housing and utility repairs and office staff worked the same hours as tradesmen and engineers. A lot of our work would be hit back by doing that, especially working 4 days. You could however employ extra workers so everybody did 4 days but not everyone will be working 4 days running. Outside of construction I would say many of my roles could easily have been done in 4 days working 30 to 35 hours rather than the 40 to 45 I have done. 

A big issue is I know a lot of people who basically have unpaid overtime forced upon them, some of them not even paid well anyway. I do not know why you would bother, myself but maybe that's why I'm not successful. However I think loads of companies would just try and say well if you haven't finished you can't leave. 

 

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Yes sorry I work in retail and the majority of my co workers on my department have a day off say Sunday and Wednesday or Sunday-Thursday so it doesn't work out quite as well for them

Because my days off a together its just a nice little bonus for me.

But yeah for those who do the standard Monday-Friday it's the same but I was more thinking about my fellow co workers when I was replying sorry.

I suppose if I did 4 10 Hour shifts as opposed to my 5 8 hour shifts I currently do then I wouldnt lose anything and would be easy enough to do.

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Any change in work culture in the UK is dependent on the jobs switching to a salaried productivity-based model. This would work for roles where businesses have total control over their workloads and work flow, but not so much for data-driven or demand-based business, like the service industry. If you're paid x amount per month, with clear daily, weekly and monthly targets/SLAs, then if you hit those targets you should be entitled to the remaining time off or to apply for overtime for supplementary pay, based on a policy agreed with the employer. This would reward productivity and efficiency rather than the clock-in-clock-out mentality, rewarding time served rather than quality of service. Service industries and 24/7 manufacturing would struggle to make this work though.

Automation is always going to chip away at menial tasks, which is always going to put the employment of less-skilled, educated or abled workers at risk. Obviously being a loony lefty, UBI appeals, and the small-scale test cases have often demonstrated the counter-intuitive effect of causing employees to be happier working longer (to do with the easing of financial pressures reducing the sense of obligation in the work environment), but I'm aware this is, at its simplest, a massive extension of the benefits system. 

Due to consumerism and capitalism, I actually doubt we'll see anything like UBI or reduced working hours without privatisation of more services. It puts things in the control of the markets and reduces governmental regulation, so I would imagine the increase in free time would be tempered by an increase in living costs only slightly mitigated by the UBI allowance.

Personally I'm in a mid-level business support role with influence in project work for a mid-size international company, so I could easily meet my daily task targets in reduced hours. I can wfh, so can be avail able to support in emergencies from off site if needs be, as I was over most of the festive period. The difficulty would be that different roles in the business don't have the same flexibility, which would lead to ill feeling and employee tensions. Still, I can dream! 

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No way I'm able to live on the wages of such little hours, unless the hourly rate rises dramatically to mean I'm earning my usual amount. Which won't happen. 

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7 hours ago, Mr_Danger said:

How do I afford to live on half the wages I currently earn?

I've seen a few posts like this, so it's worth mentioning that the reduction in working hours doesn't mean a reduction in pay. The model is more based on productivity than hours worked.

In the UK we seem stuck on a pay rate offered on the basis of how many hours you are physically available for work. A concept such as the one being touted here works more along the lines of hitting deadlines, productivity levels and meeting the targets of customers/the business.

The belief is that the average person is most productive for around 4 or 5 hours per day at most, meaning that the remaining hours spent at work are generally unproductive and time wasted.

You'd be paid the same weekly wage, but you'd be expected to really zero in on your targets for the six hours you're at work for four days of the week. The argument also claims that because of the additional time off to relax and recharge your batteries you'd be less fatigued, less burnt out and more able to perform at a higher level for the time you are at work.

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I work within a financial services company and management roles or above always end up working more hours than contracted as things need done by deadlines and workloads have increased over the years as they cut costs. I doubt this is unique to my company and would require significant change in the industry. 

I love the idea but would rather even get to a normal working first!

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The comment about productive hours feels right - of the 7.5 daily hours I'm paid for, I'd wager most days around 2.5 of that is dealing with non-essential ad hoc email queries, one-off report building, and running around the business resolving issues due to non-conformances. An official switch to reduced hours or ROWE (results-oriented work environment, cringe) would probably lead to an increase in this as the various underperformers in departments begin rushing to clear their to-do lists by palming them off as much as possible. Strong target management though would flag this up within weeks, however, so the emphasis would quickly switch to getting things right first time and clearing out such dead wood.

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ROWE ROWE ROWE your job, gently down the stream

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, work is but a dream

Any wanky media types or government lobby groups want to use this in a campaign if this ever happens, it was immortalised here first, brothers.

 

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Comparing the culture, work ethic and mindset of the general public in the UK to scandinavia is nonsensical. They are two entirely different cultures in the large part.

The UK is a group of nations where everyone wants to do less and get more for it. The reality is if we switched to a 4 day week, working less hours, for the same money, very few people would be willing to increase their output during their working hours to achieve that.

Lots of people that did put the extra work in initially would soon stop once their feet were under the table and there was no risk of losing the cushty new arrangements if they did. A lot of people would still be clamoiring for longer breaks, more days off, pay raises etc.

The UK is filled with some of the most well priviliged yet ungrateful people in the entire world in nearly every single level of society.

In any job that I've ever had I've next to never experienced the hard working, competent employees complaining about how much they get paid or how long they have to work. It's for the vast majority the people who are lazy, unwilling and/or incompetent.

I'm not talking about reasonable, decent, hard working and honest people here. There's plenty of them who would strive to make this work however there's far too many who wouldn't and it's those people who would ruin it for everyone else.

Just for clarity I'm from a working class background, far from well off and never will be.

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