Working less is really better?

You’ve probably already seen/heard about this “let’s work less to be more productive” experiment that some (major) companies are trying. A lot of articles, blog posts and discussions have been dedicated to deciding wether if working just four days a week is a great idea to implement, or not. There are also a lot of reviews, on this, from companys that have already try this work method and almost all of them are positive in terms of increasing of revenues, productivity and an increase in the employees’ wellbeing. 

The last example is the Microsoft’s one and it has make everybody say “I want to try that as well”. They tried the “four working days only” the company has then proceeded to let everybody know what the benefits from that were: we’re talking about a 40% of productivity increasing, a consist reduction of energy consume and a lot more satisfaction from employees.
Then Alexandra Palt, L’oréal’s main manager, said that the short week experiment should be introduced in every firm/company in order to improve employees’ life quality, since she thinks that work negatively influences it. So, basically, all the news and articles that state “working less is better” generated from these two examples.

But, have we considered for a minute what could have happened if, instead of Microsoft and L’Oréal, we were talking about any other firm? Would have we obtained the same results? 

Let’s not forget Microsoft is one of the biggest companies when it comes to the IT market, just like L’Oréal is in the beauty market. Microsoft is situated in Japan and L’Oréal is in France. And we, well we’re in Italy. And this makes a huge difference.

It would be weird if a country that has just recently got out of a major crisis, were positive about working less. Not that long ago we would have literally pay to find someone willing to employ us and now we’re praying that the same people that pay us, will make us work less hours. Also, we’re not considering that the businesses that have already tested this method offer a 24h/7 service. No differences are made for night, Sunday, holidays, if it is your son’s birthday. And this is something very controversial here in Italy. We need also to add that the experiment has lasted only 1 month. So we can’t really know what could have happened if it had lasted longer. 

All these things being said, are we really sure this is still a great idea?

No we’re not. Everything can and has to be improved and a great wellness is what life should be supposed to guarantee. Foreign examples serve as a lesson and teach us a lot but, in this is unquestionable, everything has to be sized to our reality and current situation. 

So, the most obvious option here would be to be employed by Microsoft or L’Oréal. But if you’re not willing to do so, then you should at least take responsibilities and try improving our reality and every day life, without expecting the change to magically happen by itself.

The changes that every and each of us should aim to, are supposed to start from a deeper level of consciousness. We’re talking about a cultural change for starters but also a change in points of view. We have to make sure that these changes start within ourselves, without expecting them to happen from others. And that would already make a huge difference. 

There’s no point in copying others. Importing the “short week” would be a solution meant to fail in no time. 

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