Four day working week – Text for reading comprehension
A four-day working week
It sounds too good to be true – a four-day working week. It’s the latest buzz word, but it could soon be the norm. With an increase in AI technology, especially robots, work practices are changing in every industry worldwide. How can businesses respond? How can businesses ensure that employees feel valued in a fast- changing work environment that is becoming more and more technological?
One response has been more flexible work conditions, such as working from home (WFH) and flexible work schedules. Another response has been piloted in New Zealand with the multinational consumer goods company Unilver. The global company is trialling a four-day working week. This means that employees work about twenty-eight hours over four days and have a three-day weekend. So far, the results show that staff are happier and twenty percent more productive. Top managers say that it is time for modern ways of work practice. The old ways are outdated.
The idea of a shorter working week is also popular with staff, who say that they feel less stressed and enjoy a better work-life balance. As a result, they have fewer sick days, are more motivated and more productive. So, the company maintains a high level of work output. One staff member says that she has become more creative, because she tries to find solutions for doing her tasks in four days. Another employee says that he now gives better customer service, because he can focus more on the customer. A third person says that she feels more satisfied with her job now, and thus feels more committed to her company.
The benefits for society are also huge. A four-day week means people have more time for the family and more time for hobbies and interests including volunteer work in the community. A shorter working week also reduces the carbon footprint dramatically, as fewer people travel to work and less energy is needed for extra office space.