Is it Possible to Have a 4-day Work Week in a Philippine Setting?

BY Jules Dalmacio Articles

Is it Possible to Have a 4-day Work Week in a Philippine Setting?

Implementing a 4-day work week in a country like the Philippines, which currently has a government mandated 6-day work week, would require significant adjustments to the country’s labor laws, as well as the policies and practices of individual companies. For some countries, the 4-day work week has proven to improve not only employee productivity, but more so employee happiness, birthing a phenomenon that we’d like to call “life-work balance”

However, the same might be more complicated to say for the Philippines. While it is true that remote work and gig economy is booming in the country, there are hurdles that could impede adding one more day off to the Filipino work week. 

Legislative Challenges

The government would need to make legislative changes to the country’s labor laws to allow for a 4-day work week. One such policy would involve revising the Labor Code of the Philippines to reduce the maximum number of workdays per week from six to four. Even if the Labor Code isn’t revised to fully integrate the 4-day work week, it has to give provisions that protect both employees and companies from abusing the new work structure.

Company-Level Policies

Companies would need to revise their policies and practices to accommodate a 4-day work week. This would involve reviewing and revising work schedules, payroll and benefits, and HR policies such as sick leave, vacation time, and work hours. While a 4 day work week might not cost a company upfront in operations, it might cost the company in other ways like production, benefits, and risk-management.

Consultation with Stakeholders

Companies would need to consult with their employees, unions, and other stakeholders to ensure that the transition to a 4-day work week is as smooth as possible. Company’s would need to address the reasons for the change and any concerns or questions that employees may have. In the same way that remote work isn’t for everyone, so might be the 4-day work week. The benefits of one additional day may also be outweighed if it comes at the cost of a commensurate salary cut like we’ve mentioned in a previous article

Test Programs

Companies could consider implementing pilot programs to test the feasibility of a 4-day work week. This could involve implementing a 4-day work week for a select group of high-performing employees or departments and evaluating the impact on productivity, employee satisfaction, and other HR success metrics. Pilot programs will help measure pros and cons of implementing the new work structure against how profitable it will be for the company in the long run.

Developing Talent

Companies may need to invest in training and development programs to help employees adjust to the new work schedule and ensure that they have the skills and knowledge needed to be productive in a 4-day work week environment. Because there will be 20% less days in the week to work, companies will need staff that are 20% equally able to deliver 100% before the end of the work week.

Evaluation and Optimization

Finally, companies would need to continuously evaluate the effectiveness of the 4-day work week policy to ensure that it is achieving the desired outcomes from both sides of the productivity coin. This would involve monitoring HR success metrics such as employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity and making adjustments as needed. It would also involve measuring additional costs of having one more off day for employees.

While implementing a 4-day work week in the Philippines would require significant changes, it is possible with careful planning, evaluation, and optimization. The benefits of a 4-day work week, such as increased employee satisfaction, productivity, and reduced absenteeism, could make it a worthwhile policy to explore especially in a country where there are plenty of things like the horrendous commute, and rising inflation rates, that could eat away at an employee’s personal time and job satisfaction.

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