Great Britain tests four-day week: Friday New Saturday – Politics

John Boot is an unforgettable part of Britain’s industrial history. The man who once ran the pharmaceutical empire Boots is now seen as a pioneer of a new kind of work time. Boot became the “pioneer of the five-day week” on the island in the early 1930s. At the height of the “Great Recession” of those years, he faced obvious overproduction in his factory and decided to reduce production without laying off workers.

So for 5000 working days he declared that they no longer had to come to work on Saturday mornings, as usual until then. However, their pay is still paid in full.

Without that being five and a half days a week, the Boots men worked only five days a week without income. Gradually other companies followed suit, five days a week first with the British – and then with nowhere else in the Western world.

A study commissioned by Sir Richard Redmain, a Birmingham professor and mining engineer, concluded that the reform had largely positive effects on both capital and labor.

The study found that the extra leisure time available to employees working in these companies results in better health, happier employees and less redundancy. In Boots, the opportunity to relax on a long weekend led to “improvement in personal status and the joy of work” both physically and mentally.

Almost a century later, those changes began to be remembered in the homeland of the boat. Meanwhile, as many companies that want to reform have announced, it is time for a new and more serious move.

Pioneer project

A pilot project was launched on the island this month to see if the work week could be further reduced. Those involved believe it is time to switch from five to four days a week. Friday should be the new Saturday, an extra holiday. Or to the same extent work is distributed differently on different days of the week. Seventy small and medium-sized companies, with a total of 3,300 employees, support the test, which is scheduled to run for a total of six months.

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The event was organized by 4 Day Week Global, a non-profit group in collaboration with researchers and automated thinkers from the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Boston. With their idea, project participants talk about the “100: 80: 100 model”. This means that participants will receive 100 percent pay for 80 percent of the work until they are 100 percent productive.

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Wyatt Watts, chairman of the Fish and Chips team at Plattons in Norfolk, said: “At first I was skeptical when I heard that he should get the same pay for less work. Other participants in the program also feel more physically fit than before and less tired when going to work.

In this sense, the four-day-week program is entirely in the tradition of the John Boot Reformation of the last century. Mass unemployment at that time provided the impetus for reducing working hours, during which time people are directly interested in a better quality of life, more energy and a new look at work.

Sarah O’Connor, a labor expert at the Financial Times, explains that the nature of work has changed a lot over the past three decades. With this, O’Connor is introducing new technologies and in addition, says actor Stephen Fry, the traditional work life has been completely redesigned as a result of working from Covid and home. Fry, who has made himself a leading model for the campaign four days a week, also points out that fewer working days, travel hours and emissions at companies or offices will be reduced and more time will be available for family. .

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Increase productivity

Andrew Barnes, who launched the 4-day weekly global campaign, says: “Basically, we use work patterns that were created hundreds of years ago in the context of repetitive production practices. We continue to use this for the 21st century. It’s completely meaningless. “In five years, Barnes has suggested that the majority of British entrepreneurs will be working short hours.

A call center in Glasgow introduced a program four days a week to its 350 employees. Since the introduction of the reduced days, call center director Lorraine Gray said Pursuit marketing has seen almost 30 percent productivity. Fewer employees now resign each year than ever before. And sick leave returned to “almost zero”. In the past, Gray says, people would call sick people if they needed a few hours to do something and make an appointment. Now they have extra days off to do those things.

There is also the suspicion of. Economists like Robert Skidelsky believe that something like this is not possible in all sectors of the economy: “Of course it cannot be regulated by law, nationwide.” Look for more work than less: “Especially in the kick economy, where you need a lot of jobs to survive. Peter Nonenmaker

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