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posted by janrinok on Wednesday January 12, @08:17PM   Printer-friendly

Panasonic is introducing an optional four-day work week:

Panasonic is reportedly introducing an optional four-day work week for employees, allowing its workers to spend less time working and more time actually enjoying being alive. It's one more small push toward a better world where shorter working weeks are the norm.

Announced during an investor briefing on Friday, Panasonic will offer its workers a third day off per week, with Panasonic CEO Kusumi Yuki noting they may opt to further their studies, volunteer, or even work a side job. Last year, Japan's annual economic policy guidelines revealed the country would encourage employers to adopt four-day work weeks.

"We must support the wellbeing of our employees," said Kusumi, as reported by Nikkei Asia.

Hoping to facilitate better work-life balance in its workforce, the electronics manufacturer is also increasing flexibility by allowing more employees to work from home, and giving them the freedom to turn down job transfers that require them to move. It isn't clear whether these new policies will apply to all employees globally, nor whether hours or compensation will be adjusted to offset workers' reduced days.

Would you prefer a 4 day working week?

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  • (Score: 2) by looorg on Wednesday January 12, @09:12PM (3 children)

    by looorg (578) on Wednesday January 12, @09:12PM (#1212214)

    I prefer the one day work week where I cram 40h worth of work into an afternoon but still get paid for full thing. If only I could remove all the meetings, stupid interactions with others etc work would be so much better.

    But if the goal is just to cram more hours into fewer days then why not just work for say two or three days and do nothing but work and sleep? I really don't see quality being maintained on those 10h plus shifts. That extra day you think you managed to free up by doing this is then just probably going to be wasted on resting. Perhaps you'll get used to it eventually but I just don't really see the benefit for me in this work equation.

    That said there is also the question of how much of the 8h workday (or 40h week) is actually work? I don't think I work the entire 8h non stop ever. But then I guess I do work but that is not the same as fingers moving across the keyboard all the time etc. What looks like slacking off might actually be deep thinking, hopefully about work. If all things that wasn't essential for my job could be cut I think the workday could probably take a 20-50% cut, but there is very little incentive to do so if my pay goes down with it. Better to keep up the charade in that regard and play office the rest of the time.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Freeman on Wednesday January 12, @09:21PM

    by Freeman (732) on Wednesday January 12, @09:21PM (#1212217) Journal

    Nurses schedules are crazy and they generally deal with a lot more stress than the average office worker. Sure, they may only work 3 or 4 days a week, but at least 1 to 2 of those days is recuperation and/or preparation for the next slog of a work week.

    Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @10:31PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @10:31PM (#1212232)

    From the link,

    The four-day work week is an ephemeral dream that has long been dangled before workers like an oasis in a desert. In 2021, Iceland reported that the world's largest trial of a shorter work week saw significant gains in workers' happiness, health, and productivity. Microsoft Japan trialed a four-day work week to great success in 2019, boosting productivity by almost 40 percent. And New Zealand firm Perpetual Guardian permanently switched to a four-day work week in 2018, after a two-month trial saw a 20 percent boost in productivity.

    Reduced work days have been tested and retested all over the world for years, and the results have consistently shown positive results. Yet despite overwhelming evidence of its benefits for employees and employers alike, the shorter work week remains largely elusive. Companies continue to drag their feet, claiming it isn't feasible, they're a special case, and that it just wouldn't work if applied to their particular industry.

    I wonder if these productivity increases last, or if the effect is short term (months or a year)? Years ago I read about the results of various efficiency studies in different work environments and the results were almost always more productivity--independent of whatever changes were made to the work schedule or other aspects of the working environment. The eventual conclusion was that the employees reacted to being studied and upped their output for awhile. Back then this might have been observers walking around the factory with clipboards, iirc, a guy named Taylor was one of the better known efficiency experts.