Fórsa is hosting public meetings on its campaign for a four day working week in Limerick and Galway next week. The events are part of a series of regional meetings taking place following the launch of 4DWI (Four Day Week Ireland) in September.
They come on foot of another boost for the international campaign for a shorter working week, as Microsoft Japan announced it had wrapped up a successful four-day week pilot, which saw productivity rise by 40%.
Fórsa is part of the 4DWI coalition of businesses, trade unions, environmentalists, academics and NGOs established to campaign for shorter working time in all sectors of the economy. The initiative is the Irish leg of an international campaign to establish a four-day week without reductions in pay or productivity.
The new coalition says reduced working time is better for business, better for workers, better for women, and better for the environment.
The campaign aims to achieve “a gradual, steady, managed transition to a shorter working week for all workers in the private and public sectors.”
Fórsa campaigns director Joe O’Connor said the campaign pledges to promote the concept of a four-day week with Irish businesses. “We’re also offering to those who trial the approach by drawing on the experience of companies like Galway-based recruitment firm ICE and New Zealand’s Perpetual Guardian, which are already reaping the benefits of introducing a four-day week for their staff,” he said.
Orla O’Connor of the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI), Oisin Coghlan of Friends of the Earth, and ICE chief executive Margaret Cox will speak at the meetings, which take place in Limerick on Monday 25th November and Galway on Thursday 28th.
Meanwhile, Microsoft Japan announced that productivity rose by 40% when it tested a four-day week in the summer. Its ‘work-life choice challenge 2019’ saw the tech giant grant its 2,300-strong workforce five Fridays off in a row, without decreasing their pay.
The company said the experiment led to more efficient meetings and happier workers, while staff said they eliminated distractions in the workplace in order to maintain the previous levels of productivity. The pilot also reduced electricity usage by 23%.
Microsoft Japan is the latest in a growing number of firms experimenting with reduced working hours. As well as Perpetual Guardian and ICE, Uniqlo Japan has also trialled a flexible time option to accommodate an extra day off while maintaining the number of hours put in per week.
The Limerick meeting takes place at the Fórsa office, Roxborough Road at 7.30pm on Monday 25th November.
The Galway meeting takes place at the union’s Galway office at Sean Mulvoy Business Park at 7.30pm on Thursday 28th November.
For more information about the campaign visit fourdayweek.ie/