Reading Time: 3 minutes
In the United States, employees typically work five days a week for eight hours each day. However, many employees want to work a four-day week and are willing to accept less pay in order to do so. A mandatory policy requiring companies to offer their employees the option of working a four-day workweek for four-fifths (80 percent) of their normal pay would benefit the economy as a whole as well as the individual companies and the employees who decided to take the option.
The shortened workweek would increase company profits because employees would feel more rested and alert, and as a result, they would make fewer costly errors in their work. Hiring more staff to ensure that the same amount of work would be accomplished would not result in additional payroll costs because four-day employees would only be paid 80 percent of the normal rate. In the end, companies would have fewer overworked and error-prone employees for the same money, which would increase company profits.
For the country as a whole, one of the primary benefits of offering this option to employees is that it would reduce unemployment rates. If many full-time employees started working fewer hours, some of their workload would have to be shifted to others. Thus, for every four employees who went on an 80 percent week, a new employee could be hired at the 80 percent rate.
Finally, the option of a four-day workweek would be better for individual employees. Employees who could afford a lower salary in exchange for more free time could improve the quality of their lives by spending the extra time with their families, pursuing private interests, or enjoying leisure activities.
Now listen to part of a lecture on the topic you just read about.
Offering employees the option of a four-day workweek won’t affect company profits, economic conditions, or the lives of employees in the ways the reading suggests.
First, offering a four-day workweek will probably force companies to spend more— possibly a lot more. Adding new workers means putting much more money into providing training and medical benefits; remember … the costs of things like health benefits can be the same whether an employee works four days or five. And having more employees also requires more office space and more computers. These additional costs would quickly cut into company profits.
Second, with respect to overall employment, it doesn’t follow that once some employees choose a four-day workweek, many more jobs will become available. Hiring new workers is costly, as I argued a moment ago. And companies have other options: they might just choose to ask their employees to work overtime to make up the difference. Worse, companies might raise expectations … they might start to expect that their four-day employees can do the same amount of work they used to do in five days. If this happens, then no additional jobs will be created and current jobs will become more unpleasant.
Finally, while a four-day workweek offers employees more free time to invest in their personal lives, it also presents some risks that could end up reducing their quality of life. Working a shorter week can decrease employees’ job stability and harm their chances for advancing their careers. Four-day employees are likely to be the first to lose their jobs during an economic downturn. They may also be passed over for promotions because companies might prefer to have five-day employees in management positions to ensure continuous coverage and consistent supervision for the entire workweek.
Summarize the points made in the lecture, be sure to explain how they cast doubt on specific points made in the reading passage.
Here is My Response:
Please check my response and let me know where i can do improvement.
In the lecture, the narrator suggests that reducing workload from 5 days to 4 days won't affect the economy, which is contradictory to the reading passage. According to the narrator to hire new Employees needs more money for training, medical benefits, more computers and more office space. which will cut down on company profits and this may cost more money than retaining the same no of employees for 5 days work.
Besides, reading states that shortened weekend will increase company profits as their employee feel more rested and relaxed so they will likely to make less error in their work but narrator thinks that company may ask their 4-day employees to work overtime to complete the 5-day work in 4-days. this will make the current job more unpleasant and this won't create additional jobs too.
In the end, the reading passage states that 4 days employees will have more free time in exchange for their lower salary this could improve their quality of life by spending more time with family members, pursuing private interests and enjoying leisure activities but narrator says that 4-days employee would risk their job stability and also advancement in their career path because they may lose their jobs in economic downturn . They may also be passed over promotion too because the company will prefer 5-day employee for the management position as they can give more time for consistent supervision.
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