It is becoming clear that workers all over the world could benefit from more flexible hours that let them improve their work-life balance.
Add in the fact that businesses could also find this advantageous, and it is worth exploring how this sort of change could happen.
The Case for a Four-Day Working Week
One of the strongest cases for switching to a new way of working is presented by the four-day week. Microsoft Japan reported a 40% rise in productivity and a 23% reduction in electricity costs when they give it a trial in 2019.
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin has spoken out in the past about the possibility of a four-day working week based on flexible days of six hours each. However, since taking on the role of leading her country, Marin has pointed out that there are no plans to introduce this method yet.
Some other countries and companies have already tried this in the past, with mixed results. The general idea is that employees get more free time but also that they are more productive when working, as studies have shown that productivity drops as hours increase.
There are pros and cons to this sort of compressed working schedule, but it appears likely that we hear a lot more about it in the months and years ahead. The four days that we work could include the weekend, or any other part of the week, which would give a huge amount of flexibility.
Global Differences in Working Patterns
People all around the planet work in different patterns and for varying amounts of time. For example, in France the legal working week is 35 hours long while in Colombia and Turkey the working week is over 47 hours.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development put Mexico and Costa Rica as the countries where people worked most hours each year, as they were the only countries with an average of over 2,000 hours in 2019.
Also, not every country looks on the weekend in the same way. A good example comes from countries with a predominantly Islamic culture, where Thursday and Friday are typically the days that make up the weekend. In countries such as India, where Saturday working is traditionally common, the weekend is only Sunday for many people.
As we become more used to global workforces, this increases the need for work patterns that suit everyone and are fair.
Industries That Value the Change to Take Action at Weekends
Another way that flexibility could be added to our careers is by allowing us to work weekends, thereby freeing up more leisure time during the week. This could be especially beneficial in certain industries, where the weekend offers new possibilities.
A type of worker who could appreciate this change is anyone who commutes every day and therefore would benefit from quieter transport and streets. Workers who suffer from slow, crowded computer networks and noisy workplaces may also feel the benefit of working at the weekend.
Part of the knock-on effect of this could be that more trading occurs, as additional opportunities appear in the markets for carrying out Saturday and Sunday trading online. IG confirms that it is already possible to trade on markets such as forex, cryptocurrencies and key global indices at the weekend, suggesting they have already noted advantages to being able to make such trades.
Changes Are Likely
It seems certain that we see changes in our working patterns before too long. The recent increase in the number of home-workers has helped to show us all that it is possible to change how we work in order to get a better life and be more productive at the same time.
Thai Government Launches “Factory Sandbox” Scheme to Protect 3 Million Jobs
The plan will focus on plants which employ at least 500 people and will build confidence among both Thai and foreign investors at a time when supply chains in rival countries are shutting down.
BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand’s government has launched a pilot “Factory Sandbox” program to test, vaccinate and isolate factory workers, with the aim of limiting COVID-related disruptions to Thailand’s important export-driven manufacturing sector.(more…)
The environmental case for remote working
Anyone searching for a silver lining to the pandemic should look to the clear, blue skies above them. A reduction in pollution worldwide has been an unintended benefit of the lockdowns and stay-in-place orders imposed to control the spread of COVID-19.
Advance booking for Thailand national park visits extended to 60 days
Bangkok, 23 November, 2021 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to advise that tourists can now preregister...
China Sustains Huge Ecommerce Development Investment Flows into ASEAN
What Asia Investment Research showed us that there were China outbound investments into several ASEAN markets, led by Singapore, and...
Bangkok Airways resumes Phuket – U-Tapao and Samui – U-Tapao routes in December 2021
Bangkok, 24 November, 2021 – Bangkok Airways has announced that it will resume two more of its domestic services which...
Why Vietnam is Forecast to be the Fastest Growing Internet Economy in Southeast Asia
Since the beginning of the pandemic, customer demand for online purchases has increased dramatically. More than 70 percent of Vietnam’s...
Youth unemployment hits new highs in Thailand due to COVID-19 restrictions
BANGKOK, Thailand (ILO news) - Joblessness among young men and women in Thailand has reached a level unseen in recent...