If your employer offered you a four day work week, would it lead to more quality family time in your home? Striking a balance between work and home life is no easy feat.
It is a particularly difficult juggling act for most Irish families as we recently learned from our inaugural research on Family Moments.
35% of the people we surveyed are planning to work from home in any given night. That statistic alone indicates the lines that are consistently blurring between work and home life.
We are struggling to switch off and consider it a necessity to take our work home with us in order to perform at a level that is sufficient for our employer or industry. This, in turn, is a huge obstacle between working parents and the quality family time they crave. Having meaningful quality time as a family is now considered to be a luxury rather than a necessity.
A new organization has been set up to support Irish companies that wish to trial a four day work week. Four Day Work Week Ireland is made up by different businesses, trade unions and NGO’s with the goal of encouraging as many Irish companies as possible to consider a four day work week for their business.
The group, which includes members from The National Women's Council Of Ireland as well as representatives from Irish universities, is part of a larger coalition that spans across several countries.
Their main goal is to highlight the benefits of a shorter working week and dispel some of the common myths associated with working longer hours. As it happens, more working hours does not equal more productivity in many cases.
We can’t help but consider the positive impact that a four day work week would have on the Irish family unit as a whole. 47% of the people we surveyed through our Family Moments research work full time and yet a huge number of them are also working or preparing for work in the evening and at weekends.
This appears to be the greatest issue of all in that many employers expect their employees to be available to them, in some capacity, outside of their working hours.
Would a four day week help bridge that gap between work and home in that work would be a more clear-cut and structured affair? Would it impact Irish family life in a positive way for this reason? Perhaps working parents would be less inclined to allow work to permeate their precious family time and allow them to be more present and available.
In the same way, it is possible that job satisfaction and morale could be at a much higher level if a shorter working week does, in fact, equate to better productivity overall. The rise in self-esteem and confidence would only have a positive effect on family life and the energy levels and attitudes of family members in the home.
to Four Day Work Week Ireland (4DWI) “reducing work time is better for business,
better for women, and better for the environment”. With that in mind, we are
quite confident that it would be better for family time as a whole.