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Would the 4 Day working Week Work in Kenya?

Article by Maureen Kasuku
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Posted: January 13, 2022  

Early December 2021, The United Arab Emirates government  announced that it had reduced its working hours for state employees. The government announced on Twitter that the changes would be effective  from January 1, 2022.

Going forward, weekends in the UAE will run from noon  local time on Friday to Sunday night. Workers  will now have a 4.5-day work week according to the workplace regulations set by the UAE ministry of Labour. Previously, the week ran from Thursday night to Saturday night. 

According to authorities, this new law is aimed at improving workers productivity by helping them maintain a work-life balance. 

The news caused quite a stir on social media with workers and employers debating on its feasibility.

Countries like Japan, Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, Luxembourg, and  New Zealand, have already made some moves  in this vein  and many organizations in these countries have embraced a 4-day workweek.

It may seem like an out-of-the-box idea, but in 1890, The United States government through their bureau of statistics put out an estimate that  full-time employees in many  manufacturing plants worked an average of 100 hours a week. By the mid-20th century through the advocacy of Henry Ford, founder of Ford Vehicles, manufacturing employees slowly shifted to the 40 hours a week we’ve all come to know. Therefore,  reducing working hours isn’t a novel idea after all.

In the midst of a pandemic, technological advancements have enabled organizations to revolutionize the workplace. Since early March 2020, the Covid-19 crisis changed how companies the world over operate. Remote working has become the norm and working schedules have changed drastically.

We asked some of our readers what they think of remote working and a 4-day work week.

*F, a 27 year old editor at a Lifestyle website opined that a 4-day work week in a remote setting  is welcome and will reduce commuting stress and expense.

“I think a 4-day work week would give employees more time to decompress and thus increase their productivity”. *Y, an administrator at a Parklands based company tells us.

A study  conducted by Sanford University (READ MORE) revealed a correlation between  two factors. Overworked employees are actually less productive than employees working an average or normal working week.

Perpetual Guardian, a Company based in New Zealand, conducted a trial study of a 4 day work week that showed not only did employees maintain the same productivity level, but they also showed improvements in job satisfaction, teamwork, work/life balance and company loyalty. Employees also experienced less stress with a decrease of 45% to 38%. READ MORE 

Whereas, there are quite a number of mutual benefits of a 4 day work week for employers and employees,there are also a few cons. determined that the project wasn’t cost effective. READ MORE. For many organizations across the world, actualizing  a four-day work-week can prove to be quite difficult as it requires maximum employer-employee cooperation, positive workplace culture and high quality technology to ensure productivity. 

What do you think of a 4-day work week in Kenya? Can it work well here?  Take our poll and let us know!

 

About the author

Maureen Kasuku

Maureen is our resident cat lady and Beyoncé stan. She writes about spas, brunch and ballet recitals but has never been to any. Moonlights as a social justice activist in her spare time. She knows things and is obnoxiously opinionated on the internet but not in real life

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