Opinion

The prospect of reducing working days and hours

January 13, 2021
The prospect of reducing working days and hours
May Khaled



With an end to the coronavirus pandemic in sight, the independent British Research Center launched a nationwide campaign to contain unemployment and create a healthy society by bringing down weekly workdays.

People in most countries had been accustomed to work ten hours a day and six days a week since the last century.

The current form of work that we know in Saudi Arabia and other countries — that is to work for five days a week and eight hours a day — began in the year 1908 and that was first in the United States. For this, there were some religious reasons.

At that time, Jewish workers of factories used to enjoy their holidays on Saturday and work on Sundays, which angered the Christian workers. So they suggested closing the factories on Saturday and Sunday to take their leave just like the Jewish workers.

Some companies have recently started experimenting a new system that allowed their staff to work four days a week in exchange for a salary cut.

However, they decided to bring salaries back to the previous level while keeping the work cut to four days a week, as it was found that reducing the stress level of workers would improve their productivity significantly.

Experiments around the world have also shown the benefits of reducing working hours. Employees’ productivity has improved and this is what happened in Sweden when it tested six hours of work a day.

The Microsoft Company introduced a weekly three-day system on an experimental basis, and they got similar results.

The British Research Center’s project is based on the idea that people of our time have become more productive than any other time throughout history, due to scientific advances, automation and technology.

As a result, the balance between work and leisure must be improved and the quality of life and well-being must be upgraded.

— The writer can be reached on twitter @Mayk_O_O or Maykhaled@hotmail.com


January 13, 2021
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