Work-life balance and short working week: meaning and benefits

work life balance week

Work-life balance and short working week: meaning and benefits

In today’s society, where productivity and efficiency are crucial values, it becomes increasingly challenging to manage work pressures without compromising personal relationships and self-care. This is why there has been so much talk about the work-life balance and its benefits for both workers and companies. Firstly, let’s understand what work-life balance is.

Work-life balance refers to the proper balance between work responsibilities and an individual’s personal commitments, such as family, hobbies, leisure, and rest. It is about finding a compromise between professional and private needs that ensures work does not interfere with the quality of life outside the work environment.


What are the benefits of a good work-life balance?

Maintaining a good work-life balance offers numerous benefits for workers, such as improved mental and physical health, which helps to avoid stress and burnout. Companies also benefit from having workers who maintain a healthy work-life balance. Some of these benefits include:

  • Increased productivity: happier and more relaxed workers are more likely to be productive and creative.
  • Greater commitment and job satisfaction: a good work-life balance boosts employees’ motivation and loyalty to the company.
  • Reduced absenteeism: employees who manage to maintain a good work-life balance are less likely to suffer health problems and take sick days.
  • Increased ability of the company to attract and retain talent: a company that promotes work-life balance is more attractive to the best professionals and succeeds in retaining them over time.


The importance of corporate culture in promoting a healthy work-life balance

Corporate culture plays a critical role in promoting a good work-life balance. One of the ways companies can encourage a healthy work-life balance is by offering flexible working options, which can include smart working, flexible working hours, but also the introduction of the short working week.


Short working week

The short working week involves reducing working time to four days. Depending on the application, the salary may remain the same, or be proportional to the hours, and the working time on the four days work occurs. The most popular formula, and the one most favoured by employees, is the one that reduces working hours for the same salary. It is now an increasingly discussed topic in the workplace.

short working week

The primary objective of the short working week is to improve employees’ quality of life by giving them more free time to pursue their personal passions and activities. Moreover, the short working week can have benefits for the company, such as higher productivity and a lower staff turnover rate, and it can positively impact the environment by reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions related to home-to-work transport.


The experiment of many companies

Many Italian companies, including Banca Intesa, Awin Italia, and Magister Group, are starting to implement this solution. This choice was motivated by the success of similar initiatives in other countries, such as the United Kingdom, where a recent experiment showed very promising results.

The first results of experiments conducted in Italy and abroad confirm the potential of the short week as a tool for improving the quality of working life and promoting a more sustainable and inclusive development model. In the future, it will be interesting to see how this trend develops and what the concrete impacts on society and the economy will be.

At Creative Words, we take work-life balance and employee well-being very seriously. For this reason, we have introduced the short working week for equal pay on an experimental basis starting in October 2022, achieving excellent results to date and benefiting from all the advantages this initiative can generate. Our team members have repeatedly stated that the introduction of the short working week has helped them feel less stressed, tired, and more productive during their working days.

Based on our positive experience, we are keen to spread awareness on this issue, hoping to see more and more companies adopting this solution, contributing to a more stimulating and productive working environment for all.


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