During the pandemic, back in 2020(nearly 4 years ago, for those of us who still can barely believe it), many researches were made to find out if productivity would decrease with everyone working from home. The results were obvious, and didn’t even require research to be seen: People worked more and more efficiently when from home. After all, if CEOs didn’t live in a different planet, they’d know that not sharing space with annoying people and not spending 2h to go to and come back from work every day alone can massively increase productivity.
All this talking however ended up bringing attention to older studies: How working less hours, or less days, can positively impact people’s productivity, happiness and, for the companies, profit. This was yet again a surprise to all the people whose’s salary is higher than they know how to count, but since it’s not as well known to others as well, I thought I should help share it around.
What people want
People have never been happy working 8 hours, 5 days a week. Researches have recently shown that the overwhelming majority(87%) of workers wish for a 4 day work week, with 82% saying they believe it’d be a success. If, however, you aren’t a suit, you’d know that this is the case since the industrial revolution. For non-company-owners, jobs are not and will never be people’s main interest or focus. Humans need 8 hours of sleep, exercise, healthy non-fast food and their private time to unwind and have fun. Work 8 hours daily, about 1 hour or 2 of commute and extra hours, sometimes unpaid and at home, of work however, and that free time gets reduced to nearly nothing.
Everyone is tired of 40 hours a week, for over half of their life being dedicated to this. The general feeling is that their job has as little meaning as their life. Things are so bad that entire subreddits have been made, youtube channels, etc, just so people can complain about it and figure out ways to make life a little easier. People are quitting their jobs in search for more happiness, risking it all with streaming, youtube, their own companies, anything.
Thankfully, there’s a way to make everyone happier.
Less days, More money
Like I mentioned in the beginning of this article, working from home talk ended up “unearthing” older papers: how working less days affects people and companies. One in special, conducted in Iceland between the years of 2015 and 2019, was specially pointed to. Here’s the PDF for you:
The research’s conclusion was simple: productivity was the same if not better. The success was such, that Spain and New Zealand have decided to conduct their own as well. Some massive private companies such as Lamborghini, Intesa Sanpaolo and EssilorLuxottica decided to make the change recently as well, even giving a bonus to all employees who take part in it, and got the same results: happier workers, less sick days, more productivity and therefore profit.
So, for everyone feeling hopeless out there, know that there is some hope in the horizon. With these researches and testing being done, it could be that in the next decade or so, we will see more and more places adopting shorter work journeys, leaving you with more free time, but same amount of money, to invest in the most important thing: yourself.