Employees with 4-day weeks use the free day to sleep: reporttext_fields
Several countries have been discussing the four-day work week in order to prioritise the mental well-being of their citizens. Scientists have been curious about what people will do with the extra free day. A new study has found out that the answer is surprisingly simple - sleep.
Juliet Schor, a sociologist and economist at Boston College, observed employees of 180 organisations that allow 32-hour workweeks. He found out that workers slept for 7.58 hours per night which is a full hour more. Seven of their eight reclaimed hours were spent sleeping, reported Bloomberg.
Schor said that his team was not surprised about people opting to sleep more. But they were surprised to see that the percentage of sleep-deprived people dropped from 42.6% to 14.5%.
Christopher Barnes, a management professor at the University of Washington's Michael G. Foster School of Business, told Bloomberg that the key is to see people as not just employees and sleepers but family members, spouses, community members, and parents. "If we don't allocate time to each of those roles, things stack up."
He added that other studies have shown that there is a link between sleep and work hours, especially in people who work long hours. "When you trade sleep for work, it is problematic. You sacrifice health and have bad work outcomes."
The concept of 4-day workweeks started gaining traction after the changes brought by the pandemic proved to be more productive. However, many organisations running the six-month pilot programme are completing the trial. Many executives find it challenging to overcome five-day norms and remove unnecessary tasks to churn out the same output in four days.