Four-Day Work Week in India: A Pipe Dream?
Syeda Maseeha Qumer

Several companies across the globe have begun experimenting with a four-day work week to boost employee productivity and work-life balance. Sounds great! But how practical would such an initiative be in India? Some HR experts feel that a four-day work week culture may not work in the Indian context, considering the industrial structure and work processes are not robust and may lead to industrial, social and legal implications.

In India, work conditions are quite different and way too hectic than many other countries. According to a global survey of nearly 3,000 employees across eight countries conducted by Kronos Incorporated, a leading provider of human capital management software and services, India leads the way as the hardest working country with 69% of full-time employees saying they would prefer to work five days a week even if they had an option to work fewer days a week for the same pay.

Such pointers are likely to deter the implementation of the four-day work week in India. Also, India is low on industrial productivity and a compressed work week would further affect output. Reportedly, industrial production declined 4.3% in India in September 2019, mainly due to poor performance in the manufacturing sector. On the other hand, Indian cities have a congested infrastructure. If a four-day work-week becomes a reality, it will worsen the commute challenges by having almost everyone on the road those four days.

While a four-day week has its own benefits and drawbacks, implementing it in India seems a little far-fetched idea as of now.
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