Jul 6, 2020

Alternate 4-day workweek for gov’t, private sectors mulled

In his proposal, Barzaga said government employees will work from Mondays to Thursdays, starting from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., with an hour break time from noon to 1 p.m.

MANILA — Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. on Thursday offered an alternative scheme to the proposed four-day workweek for government and private sector employees, which he said could be considered by Malacañang to ease the traffic problem in the country.

In his proposal, Barzaga said government employees will work from Mondays to Thursdays, starting from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., with an hour break time from noon to 1 p.m.

Meanwhile, for private employees, he suggested that they work on a Tuesday-to-Friday schedule — starting also from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and with one-hour break time.

“This means office hours will run from 7 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., or a total of 10 hours a day for four days, thus meeting the required 40 hours of work per week among employees,” Barzaga said.

“On Mondays, no employees from the private sectors and on Fridays no government employees will come to work. Under this scheme, the traffic volume on Mondays and Fridays will be minimized since there will be fewer employees coming to work these days,” he said.

The lawmaker said while employees will have to wake up and travel earlier than usual under his proposal, the rush hour would be eased due to the early time of work. The same is true with employees going home later at 6 p.m.

“Moreover, this work scheme will not only minimize the heavy traffic but will also result in gas and fuel savings among the motorists. Employees will also save a lot in terms of transportation expenses, food and clothing,” Barzaga said.

On top of these all, Barzaga pointed out that the well-being of the employees will be cared for.

He said studies have shown that a compressed workweek is highly correlated with productivity — with employees working in the said scheme showing improvements in job satisfaction, teamwork, work/life balance, and company loyalty.

“Employees also experienced less stress and higher levels of happiness. The 4-day work plan will give employees a 3-day rest, giving them more quality time with their families and friends, and affording them a moment to pursue other creative pursuits,” he said.

“Indeed, it is about time to enforce a doable solution to traffic which can work both ways – easing the traffic and promoting the well-being of employees,” Barzaga said.

Barzaga reiterated that the four-day work scheme can only reduce to a certain extent the traffic but will not totally eradicate it.

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