Saint Lucia’s Youth Development and Sports Minister has highlighted the benefits of a ‘four-day work week’ with people working from home on Fridays in an address recently to the Commonwealth Youth Forum in Kigali, Rwanda.
Casimir, who spoke on the topic: The Economic Imperative: Skills Development for 21st Century Jobs, prefaced his remarks by asserting that he might be ‘a little bit controversial’,
He encouraged employers and Commonwealth governments to consider the mixed-model of employment embraced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this regard, the Gros Islet MP observed that one suggestion is a four-day work week with Fridays reserved for working from home.
“I want to say that most of what I say today will be implemented in the near future whether we like it or not,” he declared.
According to the Minister, the benefits of a four-day work week include increased employee satisfaction, company commitment, and teamwork.
He told the forum that a four-day work week also decreases stress levels and contributes to mental health.
And he cited a study by Career and Life Coach Caroline Castrillon in Forbes Magazine, indicating that 21st-century jobs have moved away from five-day work weeks.
“In that survey of over one thousand Americans nine out of ten people believe the five-day work week is outdated. Not only that, but about 80 percent of respondents say the pandemic has increased their desire for a four-day work week. An overwhelming 98 percent believe it would improve their mental health,” Casimir told the Commonwealth Youth Forum.
“In this study the author suggests that during a four-day work week the focus should be working in teams while a day’s work from home brings the opportunity for individuals to tap into their own talents and skills in the interest of company goals,” he noted.
As a result, Casimir stated that the education system among Commonwealth nations must develop a deeper symbiotic relationship with the modern suggestion.
“Schools should focus time spent by the nation’s youth in the classrooms as time to teach more social skills, etiquette, basic finance management, tolerance of differences, teach focus, teach cross-cultural communications, teach curiousity, problem solving or conflict resolution,” he advised.
Casimir said such skills are highly required in the modern global work environment.
The complete address appears below: