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Four Day Workweek in Canada: Boom or Bust? (Essay Sample)


With increased technological sophistication, human beings seem to want to work less but get more. The traditional work regime is slowly being put under much scrutiny as a result, with there being a new realization that what could be done in the conventionally set time can actually be done in much lesser time.


Four Day Workweek in Canada: Boom or Bust?
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Four Day Workweek in Canada: Boom or Bust?
Part 1:
With increased technological sophistication, human beings seem to want to work less but get more. The traditional work regime is slowly being put under much scrutiny as a result, with there being a new realization that what could be done in the conventionally set time can actually be done in much lesser time. This is exactly the basis of the 4 day workweek as advocated by various scholars and proponents. Badelt (2021) and Olive (2021) believe that working for 5 days is not only tiresome, but also mentally draining for some employees, depending on the nature of the workplace and the job description. However, even with all these factors notwithstanding, there seems to be a consensus on the need to work for less days. This is what has prompted the debate for the 4-day workweek, an idea that has continuously been tossed around the Canadian corporate world and workplace. Pinsker (2021) and Nicola (2021) contend that a 4-day workweek is great since it ensures that employees give it their all while at the workplace, hence increasing productivity and company output while at the same time ensuring they don’t suffer burnout that will slow them down as is the case with the current 5-day workweek. There are gaps in research that supports the 4 day workweek, something that Effron (2020) raises through questioning productivity of such a proposal. This report analyzes all these considerations, with subsequent recommendations.
Part 2:
Arguments for 4-day workweek implementation
There is increased productivity. One thing for sure is that overworked employees tend to drag in their service delivery while at work, due to fatigue and even burnout. A 4-day workweek gives them an impetus to deliver their duties in the best way possible, knowing very well that they will still have enough energy left by the time the week comes to a close. With 4 days to work, these individuals have got extra rest and therefore more motivation as well as job satisfaction. It easily transmits to the workplace, as they will give their all for the organization, thus increased productivity. According to Badelt (2021), such a system where there is compressed working schedule but with the same pay have the benefits of increased output by employees. According to the article, a four-day workweek means accomplishing more, thus increased productivity.
It will improve the quality and standard of life that employees live. Additionally, according to Olive (2021), a proponent of four-day workweek, a shorter work week will strike a balance between work and social life. With the extra day to rest, employees can embrace other activities such as meeting with family and friends as well as going on short holidays. Badelt (2021) notes that there is a reduction in the lifestyle related ailments that are tied to a tiresome workplace. According to Badelt (2021), the four-day workweek is a major contributor to a happy nation, noting that developed countries using the four- day workweek formula are ranked above in the World Happiness Report. On the other hand, women, who are usually the most affected by the current 5-day workweek, will have some reprieve too, as they can handle motherhood while also balancing with workplace demands accordingly. They can dedicate the 4 days to work, then the other three to their babies, beside their partners too. This therefore, not only creates equality between men and women in the workplace but also helps to strengthen family ties.
There is likely to be more efficient in the workplace, since there is a happy workforce. There is no grumpiness and inefficiencies brought about by a fatigued workforce. There will be less sick leaves taken since they will have more than enough time to unwind and recover before heading back to work for their 4-day cycle (Pinsker, 2021). This will result in a healthy organizational culture that accommodates all employees, and which has harmony amongst all of them as well. On the bigger picture, it will result in a low employee turnover and the company will stand to benefit by retaining its talented workforce.
Olive (2021) contends that a 4 day workweek will be beneficial in every other way. He believes that it will help in reducing traffic on the roads, something that will result in a reduction of carbon footprint. With the current efforts and concerns about the environment, this will go a long way in promoting environmental conservation. Nicola (2021) backs this up by noting that there will be a great reduction in energy consumption, further helping out on concerns about global energy needs and even cutting down on the same.
Arguments Against 4-day workweek implementation
There is the general fear that it will result in less customer satisfaction due to the reduced number of days that the employees will be at work. This will subsequently mean less productivity. Additionally, the same way that there is usually a lag towards end of the week for the workers, is the same way there might be a lag for the 4-day workweek. Meaning that there is a high risk of low productivity since employees will now be committed to only work for three days and laze around on the fourth day as they wait for the three resting days. In other terms, the notion of working less and being more productive might not hold. Effron (2020) further argues that the 4-day workweek is only a first world problem and not something that can be applied uniformly across the board. It might work for Canada, but might stop there, the rest of the world might not really be on the same wavelength with them.
Neutral Perspective
Even with the back and forth between the opponents and proponents of the 4-day workweek, there is the conservative ideology about the same. There is still too much that is not known about the 4 day workweek, and what exists is just a system of hypotheses and beliefs. In case there is a consideration to implement it or not, a lot needs to be done especially in terms of prior studies. Lindzon (2020) notes that inasmuch as there is a lot of clamour about the 4-day workweek, there is need to approach the concept carefully since it might end up causing further social strain. Rodriguez (2019) on the other hand, believes that for such a plan to be embraced, there is still a lot of work to be done, not just from the policy framework but also from the mindset and cultural perspective. Quite often, there is the belief that the employees who work the longest are the ones who get promotions. Such a notion needs to be dealt away with.
Part 3: 
There has been a serious traction towards a 4-day workweek in the Canadian workplace over the past few years. Most scholars and opinions are in favor of the 4-day workweek compared to those against it or those caught up in the middle, and with the aforementioned valid reasons. Badelt (2021), Nicola (2021), Olive (2021) and Pinsker (2021) all support this idea. Fuss and Whalen (2021) have even gone further to provide opinions on how to implement policy changes so as to ensure the idea is a success. The fundamental policy needs to be directed towards increased productivity and morale of the employees. Considering that there will be less days to work, it means that workers will have to be even more productive for the idea to be feasible in the long run.
A policy geared towards tax reform will be the most needed here (Fuss & Whalen, 2021). Canada is one of the highest taxing nations in the developed world. Taxes can change the behavior of workers. High taxes discourage virtually everything, from investments to even entrepreneurship and investment. The country faced a disadvantage on the competitive aspect, when it comes to attracting expatriate talent due to the high taxation rates. These are the people who can bring further skills and investments into the country, things that would be greatly needed if the 4-day workweek is to be implemented successfully.
Furthermore, high taxes slapped on the personal incomes of citizens essentially means that they will be left with so little even from the per hour pay, to invest in themselves or enjoy their hard work. There is also a high taxation index on capital gains and businesses. It seems like businesses are punished for being productive rather than being encouraged through incentives. Investors and entrepreneurs, who are the employers, need to be given a tax break, so that they won’t feel the hit when they opt to embrace a 4-day workweek for their employees (Fuss & Whalen, 2021). As it is evident, taxation and the 4-day workweek are quite related.
Areas for Further Research.
The 4-day workweek is quite a new idea in the Canadian workplace. While there might be various views from all quarters, there is still need for fur

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