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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: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @11:15AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @11:15AM (#1212386)

    6 hours/5 days would align better with school schedules, and six hours is closer to what white collar workers can maintain concentration for anyway. It would also mean that lunch breaks would become somewhat optional, which would probably also improve productivity and probably health as well.

    For blue collar workers, I'm not sure what would be better. Both fewer days and shorter ones seem like they would help with injuries resulting from physical stress. Injuries are more likely to occur either very early in the morning or late in the day. I'm not sure if this is because of fatigue, in which case shorter days would be better, or because of complexities resulting from startup and shutdown or shift change, in which case longer days would be better. There are also issues around jobs where you need protective gear or have to travel to a job site and shortening the day would increase the proportion of time spent on this sort of unproductive work.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @08:03PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @08:03PM (#1212506)

    6 hours goes evenly into 24, so it's more natural for factories and shift work.