Gambia has recently shortened the working week for their public sector workers who now work from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Thursday with Friday’s off. President Jammeh wants the extra rest day to "allow Gambians to devote more time to prayers, social activities and agriculture".
Not surprising this isn’t the first time that a four-day working week has been introduced, for example in 2008 approximately 17,000 government officials in the US state of Utah began a 4 day 10-hour working week in a bid to cut costs. However it didn’t last and four years later the five-day week was restored.
In the Netherlands, the four day week is also popular with a third of workers either working part time or 40 hours in four days.
It highlights how far the working population has developed from the 19th Century where workers considered themselves lucky if they got Sunday off. The achievement of a 40-hour week with Saturday AND Sunday off was a major landmark for the labour movement.
There are of course pros and cons to this working arrangement, while it might save on heating/electrical bills, help with recruitment and improve staff morale, it could make life more difficult in terms of childcare issues for employees and most importantly, customer relations due to the loss of available services on a Friday.
Have your say: Vote Here: do you think a four-day working week could work in your organisation?
Further News about Flexible Working & Employee Motivation & Engagement
- Free Webinar: Could Flexible Working Work in your department or organization?
- Top Reasons Why US Employees Stay on the Job
- Employers ‘missing a trick’ by not offering flexibility
- Extension of flexible working rights is good for business