Four-day week: Boon or bane?
Recently, some international companies have successfully implemented four-day work weeks, instead of the usual five. What would be the outcome if such a system were implemented in colleges? Some reactions
One of the fundamental differences between a workspace and an educational institution is that they cater to different natures of stress. In a corporate setup, the individual is exposed to stress bound by the company’s expectations of their performance. In schools and colleges, stress tends to be more internal, and the onus is on students to ‘want to perform’ beyond a minimum level. Thus, decreasing the number of working days will not help them gain additional motivation to work harder. If the aim is to increase efficiency, then institutes can offer a less pressurising syllabus or introduce other avenues for students to cope with academic stress such as extracurricular activities.
At present, the morale usually hits rock bottom after the first two weeks of the semester, and doesn’t rise again till the next semester. Teachers reluctantly take classes with little-to-no preparation, as they sometimes juggle multiple subjects. Students don’t want to come all the way from their houses for an unrewarding experience in college. A four-day study week might fix these problems.
First, it saves expenses for both teachers and students in terms of transportation. Next, a four-day week has been proven to boost morale and productivity in schools and companies abroad, as members get more time to concentrate on their personal lives, hobbies and internships.
College students would benefit from this scheme if implemented. There would be more time for extracurricular activities, and a healthier lifestyle. The aftermath — good grades and a balance between personal and professional life. But, one must not forget that this idea would do wonders only in colleges that actually pressure students; where it is only study and no play. On the other hand, imagine this being implemented in colleges (mostly private institutions) where students have a gala time.
While this is an interesting option, this might largely reduce students’ efficiency. Having three days off in a week would lead to procrastination.
As far as colleges are concerned, it is better to have five working days. Unlike the education system in other parts of the world, students in India largely depend on what professors teach in class.
Productivity will be higher with just the weekend on hand to complete all pending work.
If the aim is to increase efficiency, then institutes can offer a less pressurising syllabus or introduce other avenues for students to cope with academic stress such as extracurricular activities. Aditi Premkumar
Raaghavi Srinivasan, II, B.A. (Hons.) Economics, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana
Saikiran Bogyam, IV, EEE, Hindustan University, Chennai
Aditi Premkumar, I, Social Sciences, Tata Institute of SOCIAL SCIENCES, HYDERABAD
Jason Robert, V, BA LLB, CMR Law School, Bengaluru