Study Confirms Why NJ Needs to Try a Four-day Work Week
Earlier this year, one of the largest trials of its kind took place in the United Kindom. The idea was to see on a large scale if moving from a traditional five-day workweek to a four-day workweek would make sense.
Now that this study has been underway for some time, results are starting to come in that paint a fairly clear picture of what the effects are. Overall, it's been positive.
As we dive into it, we'll also take a look at how those benefits relate to this hectic life we call living in the Garden State. Now yes, life in the United Kingdom is certainly different than it is here in New Jersey, no questions there.
But with New Jersey being such a progressive state that's not afraid to take a chance (well OK, we are afraid when it comes to self-serve gas), there's no reason why this experiment can't be done here.
Let's first start with well-being. Overall, workers seem to be much happier with their work-life balance and getting to things they otherwise would've pushed off or crammed to do on the weekends.
Taking better care of one's own health is a huge benefit, and having that extra day allows workers to do just that. And here in New Jersey, there's no shortage of things one can do to take better care of themselves.
But aside from better self-care, think about the effects something like this would have on traveling on a weekday. No doubt it would reduce the number of cars traveling or the number of passengers using NJ Transit. In fact, if every company embraced a four-day model, traffic on the roads would most certainly reduce.
Another thing this study is looking at is productivity. As it turns out, productivity seemed to maintain. Most of our time during the workweek is often spent on busy work to fill the time. But without that extra eight hours to worry about, employees seemed to be much happier, and in turn, more productive.
And the same would most likely occur here in New Jersey. Just think about how much time is wasted just trying to stretch time to make it to 40 hours. New Jersey's already a fast-paced state, so there should be no doubt that getting the job done in 32 hours will be a problem.
Actually, the only problem New Jersey might have here is actually slowing down. It's in our nature to be constantly on the go, so it might take a bit of learning to step on the brake and enjoy the time for ourselves.
Of course, this experiment wouldn't be possible without one more requirement in place. And this requirement is the one where employees might face the most resistance.
In the study, pay rates had to remain exactly the same as it was on a five-day schedule. This meant employers couldn't take advantage of the situation by trying to save a few bucks in the process. And if we were to try this in New Jersey, our employers would have to do the same.
As good as all of that sounds, we could have an additional benefit that's more exclusive to New Jersey life. And that benefit would primarily fall on our small businesses.
Now at first, one might be thinking a four-day schedule would hurt them more. But look at it on the flip side. With most New Jerseyans working a four-day schedule, it's more likely some of them might want to work a second job to make some extra money. With their full-time job only requiring four days, this would allow them to work up to two extra days doing something different while still having a day for themselves.
Not only would that possibly help small businesses bring in more employees, but it would also mix it up for those with a four-day schedule at their full-time job. Instead of being forced to the same place for five days in a row, now the option is there to spend that fifth day doing something different if they wanted to.
Overall, a four-day workweek for full-time workers in New Jersey simply makes sense to do, and we should figure out a way to experiment with this here much like they're doing in other parts of the world. And who cares if the United States as a whole doesn't get on board, there's no reason why New Jersey can't lead the way.
Read more on this fascinating study and the results thus far from cnn.com by clicking here. And to see which New Jersey University recently announced a shift to a four-day workweek year-round, click here.