32-Hour Work Weeks

While the thought of a reduced work week can sound like a dream come true, there are several advantages to implementing a 32hr week for both people and businesses.

The standard 9–5 workweek isn’t what it once was, that much is obvious.

The standard work week in America now lasts 47 hours, and that number is steadily rising.

This means a lot of individuals have to put in long hours of work, give up time with friends and family, and struggle to establish a work-life balance.

What if There was an Alternative?

What if each of us could find a job that would allow us to work just 32 hours per week without sacrificing our pay or benefits?

MentorCruise will outline these advantages in detail in this post, along with steps you can take to establish a 32-hour work week in your company.

Let’s get going!

What Does a 32-Hour Work Week Look Like?

A 32-hour work week is a working arrangement where employees work for about 30-32 hours each week instead of the typical 40 hours, as you could have inferred from the name.

I know this isn’t exactly a revelation!

Although the definition may seem quite clear-cut, 32-hour work weeks can really take a number different shapes in reality, such as:

  • Workweeks with 4 regular days (e.g., 4 days of 8 hours each = 32 hours per week)
  • 5 short-day workweeks (e.g., 5 x 6-hour days = 30 hours per week)
  • 3 long-day workweeks (e.g., 3 x 10-hour days = 30 hours per week)

The first of those three choices is overwhelmingly the most popular.

In recent years, many businesses and nations have started to investigate the possible advantages of the four-day work week (4DWW) model.

More on this soon.

A Brief History of the 32-Hour Work Week

Let’s quickly review the development of the standards and laws governing working hours before moving on to the advantages of switching to a 32-hour work week.

It’s actually not a new idea to abbreviate the typical work week in order to emphasize productivity and wellness.

Robert Owen, a Welsh industrialist and social reformer, started his campaign for an 8-hour work day to replace the 12-hour work day(!) that was prevalent at the period as early as 1817.

The early 1900s are the next period on our historical trip.

Labor unions started pushing for a shorter work week as factory jobs proliferated in order to lessen worker weariness and enhance working conditions.

Henry Ford, the creator of the Ford Motor Company, made news in 1916 when he revealed that his organization will reduce the length of the work week for its employees to 40 hours spread over 5 days.

Yes, you may thank Henry Ford for your two-day weekend!

In July 1926, Ford made the 5-day workweek experiment a permanent fixture.

It’s easy to see that working hours have historically been on the decline.

The 32-hour work week is the new frontier today, yet the objections remain the same:

  1. How might less hours increase productivity?
  2. Will that affect our revenue?
  3. When something isn’t broken, why fix it?

All of these questions can be answered, and they can all be answered quite convincingly, as you’ll see.

Gains from a 32-Hour Workweek

Now that you have a basic knowledge of what a 32-hour work week entails, it’s time to look at some of the advantages that firms and people can experience when switching to one.

There are a surprisingly large number of advantages that affect many facets of business and life, such as:

  • A better work-life balance
  • Higher Productivity
  • Lessening of Stress
  • Enhanced Commercial Creativity
  • Enhanced Staff Morale
  • Lower Operating Costs
  • Increased Attraction and Retention

Let’s discuss these advantages in more detail now:

1.) A Better Work-Life Balance

The fact that a 32-hour work week gives employees more time to spend on their personal life outside of work is one of the 32-hour work week’s most evident advantages.

Employees, especially those with children, stand to gain much from this improved work-life balance.

A study by the labor-focused think group Autonomy revealed that Iceland’s four-day work week experiments resulted in better work-life balance surveys.

People claimed to be spending more time with friends, exercising, playing with their kids, and meaningfully engaged with their communities.

2.) Enhanced Efficiency

Despite what it might seem like, research has shown that working fewer hours might really enhance productivity at work.

Microsoft Japan discovered that temporarily switching to a 32-hour work week resulted in a 40% boost in productivity, which is a notable example.

For those keeping track, it equals a 40% increase in productivity for a 20% reduction in hours!

Many pilots, trials, and studies conducted all over the world have confirmed this impact.

Even though it may be challenging to accept, working less can really increase your productivity.

3.) Lessening of Stress

Working fewer hours results in greater productivity as well as a decrease in workplace stress.

Once more, this is probably because people are less worn out from working long hours and have more time to unwind outside of the office.

Researchers found that employees who cut their hours by 25% saw a significant drop in perceived stress levels and a significant improvement in sleep quality.

The findings were reported in the Scandinavian Journal of Work.

4.) Enhanced Commercial Creativity

Increased creativity at work can result from working fewer hours.

Employees are better equipped to think creatively, generate fresh ideas, and find innovative solutions to challenging challenges when they aren’t weighed down by lengthy hours and exhaustion.