Japan becomes latest country to introduce plans for a four-day work week
An extra day for Netflix and shopping!
The Japanese government has proposed a new movement whereby companies are encouraged to allow their staff to work a four-day week instead of the typical five. This decision comes as part of an initiative to increase the work-life balance and better support the country's economy.
Of course, the new policy would be optional, though staff would be encouraged to take the company up on the offer. A social experiment conducted in Spain found that productivity increased between 25 per cent and 50 per cent when workers were given the option to work a four-day week.
But how does that benefit the country?
The Japanese government have said that employers will be able to retain long-term staff that would usually leave to look after children or perhaps take care of elderly relatives.
An extra free day a week would allow staff to take up new hobbies, enter further education, learn new skills, or pick up a new side hustle. It would also give more time for people to spend money, meaning that the economy would grow. The government reports that the move would also increase free time, leading to more Japanese youth dating, travelling, starting families and crucially - not working.
The pandemic has shifted almost all aspects of our lives, and work is no exemption. Many have called for flexible working techniques and remote working to reflect the evolving lives of young professionals better. Perhaps if the move is a success in Japan, other countries will follow suit.