The four-day work week: luxury or necessity? | ReThinking with Adam Grant
This discussion from the TED Audio Collective, hosted by Adam Grant, delves into the concept of the four-day work week.
It involves a comprehensive examination of how a shorter work week could be beneficial not only for individual well-being and productivity but also for societal progress.
The conversation was held at the World Economic Forum in Davos and included experts from various fields.
Equitable Transition to Shorter Work Week
The shift to a shorter work week should be equitable and inclusive, catering to all workers, not just those who can work remotely or are knowledge workers.
There’s a risk of workforce bifurcation and unequal benefit distribution without this equitable focus.
Legislation Redesign and Government Role
The pandemic has presented an opportunity to rethink legislation and reshape work to create more flexible and agile systems.
Governments can act as role models and advocates for these workplace changes.
Demand for a Shorter Work Week
The move towards a shorter work week is driven by workers’ desires, making it more than just an academic question.
This shift is already underway.
Cultural Shift within Organizations
Transitioning to a shorter work week requires a cultural shift within organizations.
It’s not merely about accommodating employees with children, but about prioritizing the well-being and flexibility of all workers.
Purpose of Shorter Work Week
The goal of adopting a shorter work week is to enhance well-being and flexibility.
There are various methods to achieve this objective, not solely through reducing work hours.
I think what’s really interesting is that you know when you ask me about history is that we think time is immutable but if we look at the history of work it changes. – Hillary Cottam
Service Delivery and Government Considerations
While considering the implementation of a shorter work week, governments must ensure that service delivery to the public is not compromised.
We have a range of views on the ideal amount of work, but I think we’re all aligned on the idea that we want to make choices about how much we work and that ultimately people should be evaluated not on the time they put in but on the contributions they make. – Adam Grant
Evaluating Contributions, Not Time
Employees should be assessed based on their contributions, not the amount of time they spend working.
People should have the autonomy to make decisions about their work hours.
Inclusive Work Norm Shift
The work norm needs to change to encompass not just those with children but also workers who desire time for friends and personal life.
The focus needs to be broadened for a balanced work culture.