When I worked for a company in Texas a few years ago, one of the benefits I enjoyed was a four-and-a-half-day workweek. The system enabled my colleagues and me to run some personal errands, see our doctors, and pick up our kids from school, among other activities.
The COVID-19 pandemic required many companies to adopt a flexible work schedule to keep their operations open. Many allowed their employees to work from home full time. Nowadays plenty of those employers are trying to persuade their workers to return to the office full time, but they are facing some resistance.
One solution some companies are trying is a four-day, 32-hour workweek for the same pay.
Does your company offer a four-day workweek?
Would you like to work a four-day workweek?
Many organizations around the world are running pilot programs. In June the United Kingdom launched a four-day workweek pilot project, with more than 3,300 workers and 70 companies participating, according to Fortune. Forty-six percent of the companies reported their business productivity had stayed at about the same level, 34 percent said productivity had improved slightly, and 15 percent said there was a significant improvement.
Iceland ran a pilot between 2015 and 2019, and this year it said the program was an overwhelming success, the BBC reported. Other countries that are trying out a shortened workweek include Australia, Japan, Scotland, and Spain, according to World Population Review.
In a survey of companies that are offering the option—conducted by the 4 Day Week Global organization, which promotes a reduced work schedule—63 percent said the shorter workweek makes it easier to attract and retain talent, and 78 percent of employees reported being happier and less stressed.
I wondered whether any major engineering companies were offering the option, so I contacted ABB, Siemens, and others. But either they did not respond or they had not yet decided.
So instead I thought I’d ask readers whether their company is offering a shortened workweek. I’d also like to know your thoughts about an abbreviated work schedule.
Please submit your answers to the poll above and share your thoughts in the comments sections below. The Institute plans to publish an article on the findings.
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Qusi Alqarqaz is an electrical engineer, engineering manager, and consultant with more than 33 years of experience in the electric power industry and in the analysis and performance improvement initiatives involving electric utilities. He has worked on electric power projects in Jordan, Qatar, Texas, and Turkmenistan, and the United Arab Emirates. The IEEE senior member writes about technical and management topics relevant to the electric power industry. He is a contributor to IEEE Spectrum and The Institute as well as serves on The Institute’s Editorial Advisory Board.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the United Arab Emirates University. He earned certificates and continuing education degrees from the University of Manchester, in England; the University of Wales, in Cardiff; the University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in Madison. He also holds a professional development certificate in the analysis of distribution systems from Milsoft Utility Solutions, in Abilene, Texas, and a certificate in power system engineering from ETAP, in Irvine, Calif.