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Many large MNC’s in New Zealand are now implementing the 4-Day workweek strategy to provide the best work life balance and flexibility to work facitilies to their employees. The CEO of one of the largest MNC’s in New Zealand, Mr. Andrew Barnes argues that 4-day workweek can become a new trend, which cannot only be helpful in providing flexible working arrangements to the organizations, but it can also cut costs of the overall use of the organizational resources for around 4-5 days per month.
Mr. Barnes has announced recently that his company, Perpetual Guardian is going to implement the 4-day workweek strategy for the trial period of around 6-weeks, so that the experts can analyze the various information related to the employee performance, job satisfaction, and work engagement. Some earlier researches carried out in this case recorded positive results. Before the trial, it was recorded that around 45% of staff was having stress related symptoms. Thereafter, some positive results were obtained in the work life balance of employees.
The outcomes of the 4-day workweek have not been proved yet, and there has been a large research gap to understand the real concerns of this strategy.
The main motivation behind writing this report is to provide a brief analysis about the issues that may arise due to the 4-day workweek implementation. This report will carry out a detail research, on the basis of available literature, to provide best suggestions to the concerned organizations.
This report will try to analyze the issues that may arise or are prevalent in the 4-day workweek implementation. It will carry out a detailed analysis of the existing and future issues, with the help of relevant literature.
Although there are many reserchers who are supporting the implementation of the 4-day workweek due to many benefits of work life balance, flexible working arrangements, and environmental benefits. However, since this concept is new, there are only speculations and a real proof of these speculations are not yet received. Moreover, there are some implementation issues for the MNC’s. Most of the MNC’s nowadays work across different borders, having different cultural, social, economic, and political concerns. So, it is not beneficial for an MNC, to implement this working policy over all branch subsidiary of the organization. There are many Asian countries, where the 4-day workweek may not work, like how it is working during the trials in some European countries.
A significant research to understand the dilemma of MNC’s is carried out by Bennington and Habir (2003), who argue in their research that there are many issues of HRM, productivity, and employees engagement in some Asian countries, which may hinder the overall growth of the organization, if a 4-day workweek policy is applied within the organization. For instance, many Australian MNC’s that are operating in Indonesia have recorded a high rate of absenteeism of employees. These MNC’s have even tried to provide rewards and performance benefits to the Indonesian employees, but the level of absenteeism didn’t change.
Once common explanation of such kind of contradictory nature of Indonesian employees is their cultural practice of “moonlighting.” Moonlighing is a general cultural work practice in Indonesia, where the employees look for some private work during the off hours or night time, even when they are working in some MNC’s. This suggests that an employee, who is already working in some reputed MNC having the 4-day workweek policy, would still look for some alternative job during the off hours. This would further decrease the employee engagement and performance of employees, who are working for the MNC, because they would start to give preference to the other jobs, because of getting full 3 days offs. This may directly impact the financial gains and growth of the concerned MNC’s (Bennington & Habir, 2003).
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