Unbelievable? Well, no need to stare at the screen with a confused expression, its true!
It is happening all over the world now. The tremendous work pressure, long working hours, and little time for self and family takes its toll on working professionals.
Whether its health, mental ability or relations, everything is affected if a person is constantly struggling to prove to be an asset by doing more than they can. And then, a point comes where the productivity begins to fall and quality of work deteriorates, thanks to the constant pressure which inflicts a feeling of contempt towards the work.
A lot of companies across the globe are experimenting on reducing working hours or days, to assess the effects on productivity.
Perpetual Guardian in New Zealand carried out one such experiment in March this year and the results were amazing:
Earlier this year the founder of the organization, Andrew Barnes surprised his employees by announcing a four-day-a-week work trial for six weeks. University of Auckland and Auckland University Technology Academics evaluated this experiment.
Employees were asked to work for four days a week, i.e 32 hours but were paid for five days.
But they did not just implement it. They asked their staff to explain to them, how they are going to deliver the same level of productivity by working eight hours lesser?
The different teams very creatively came up with different tools to raise the productivity levels working four days instead of five.
Employees were free to choose the day they wanted an off.
Some took Wednesdays, some took all three days together. People spent time with families, completing house chores and pursuing their hobbies like exercising or gardening.
Some even opted for five days, due to certain commitments or just because for them it was easier to work five days.
It was a great relief for working mums and people who had younger ones to take care at home.
On the work front, a lot of people said that it was easier to deal with workload knowing they will get an extra off. They changed the way they worked, figuring out to work more efficiently.
The wastage of time, like frequent smoke breaks, gossiping or coffee breaks reduced. Even the time consumed in meetings was reduced to a large extent. Internet and Facebook usage decreased too.
The experiment obtained remarkable results:
Teamwork and work ethics increased
Stress levels went down astonishingly
The experiment changed their lives all around, not only at work but also at home. They could take some downtime and unwind instead of rushing everywhere and it made a huge difference in their mood.
Did You Read: How Is Excessive Google Search Ruining Your Life?
Andrew Barnes further adds that the experiment was hugely successful with spiked employee satisfaction and no drop in productivity. He has already made recommendations to make this permanent to the board of directors.
An average Indian professional works 48 and sometimes 54 hours a week, which takes its toll on their health and personal life. It was declared in a recent survey that Indians are the most over-worked and hardworking professionals in the world.
Studies show that as the hours of work increase, the level of productivity decreases. An average person is not capable of working efficiently for more than 50 hours.
Do you think it’s high time we change the way we work? Does this sound like the new work-model for the 21st century?