Should Zim work a four-day week?

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

re­quired for the month and earn their nor­mal salaries.

Pro­duc­tiv­ity tar­gets will have been met dur­ing the four days and at the end of the day, ev­ery­body is happy.

In the United States of Amer­ica there are al­ready many or­gan­i­sa­tions on a four-day week and em­ploy­ers have ben­e­fited from re­duc­tion in costs that are re­lated to ev­ery­day at­ten­dance by em­ploy­ees and em­ploy­ees have gained sav­ings in ar­eas such as re­duc­tion in fuel costs, pay­ing less to­wards child care, re­duced ve­hi­cle main­te­nance costs, re­duced ab­sen­teeism and em­ployee morale rises.

A ma­jor ben­e­fit for the em­ploy­ers has been re­duc­tion in en­ergy use for retail in­dus­tries, longer trad­ing hours that al­low work­ing cus­tomers to ac­cess the shops and many oth­ers.

The down­side has been that, work­ing for longer hours to cater for the four-day week has brought up fa­tigue is­sues, health is­sues, loss on con­cen­tra­tion and in­creased sub­stan­dard work, cus­tomer ser­vices has been com­pro­mised and there has been em­ployee safety and equip­ment safety is­sues as the work­ers get fa­tigued.

Clos­ing a busi­ness for three days has proved in­con­ve­nient for cus­tomers who will be un­able to ac­cess prod­ucts and ser­vices for that pe­riod and for em­ploy­ees be­ing away for long pe­ri­ods has cre­ated a strain on child care as par­ents are away from their chil­dren for long pe­ri­ods and at times, one leaves when the chil­dren are asleep and comes back when they are asleep again.

In con­clu­sion, I be­lieve the is­sue of a four-day work­ing week should not even go for Na­tional de­bate but each busi­ness where pos­si­ble should eval­u­ate the pros and cons of a four-day week and make a de­ci­sion that is in the in­ter­est of both the busi­ness and its em­ploy­ees. Davies Ndu­miso Sibanda can be con­tacted on: Email: strat­waysmail@ya­hoo.com

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