Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who aligns with Democrats, has advocated for more businesses to adopt a four-day workweek. He believes that with advancements in technology and increased productivity, it is time to move towards a shorter workweek without a reduction in pay. Sanders emphasized the need for workers to benefit from technological progress, rather than just corporate CEOs.

This call for a four-day workweek comes in response to research conducted in the United Kingdom. Companies that implemented a four-day workweek last year reported positive outcomes, including increased revenue and reduced staff turnover. Workers participating in the trial reported experiencing less burnout, fewer negative emotions, and greater satisfaction with their work-life balance.

The study, conducted by the nonprofit organization 4 Day Week Global, analyzed the experiences of 61 UK companies and approximately 2,900 employees during a compressed workweek period from June to December 2022. The overall experience was rated at 8.3 out of 10, and on average, revenue increased by 1.4% during the trial period compared to similar periods in previous years.

In the past, companies such as Microsoft and Shake Shack in the United States have experimented with a four-day workweek for salaried employees, with some success. For instance, Microsoft observed a 40% increase in productivity during a test conducted in 2019. However, the company did not implement a permanent four-day workweek thereafter.

The UK study found that 92% of participating businesses planned to continue with the four-day workweek, while two businesses will continue the trial on a limited basis, and three businesses will discontinue it. The study revealed that more than half of the workers felt that the shortened workweek enhanced their ability to perform their jobs, and 71% reported a reduction in burnout. Furthermore, participants experienced improved mental health, reduced stress levels, and fewer negative emotions.

The growing popularity of a four-day workweek is evident, with 40% of surveyed companies last year stating that they were either implementing or considering the adoption of a shorter workweek, according to EY’s Future Workplace Index. However, the extent to which companies will embrace this idea remains uncertain.

The findings of this research contribute to the ongoing debate on the nature of office life. Remote work gained prominence during the pandemic as a contingency plan, and even as the pandemic subsides, remote work continues to be a significant consideration for achieving work-life balance. Approximately one-quarter of new job postings last month were advertised as remote, with workers appreciating the absence of commuting and improved morale and work-life balance.

The study conducted by 4 Day Week Global analyzed data from 91 companies and around 3,500 workers, including the 61 companies from the recent UK study. Additional findings from different parts of the world are expected to be released in the future..

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