A four-day work week may have sounded like a myth a few years back but is gradually starting to pick up steam the world over. Employers have already started to see the benefits of paying their employees 100% of their salary, for 80% time worked, while seeing levels of productivity maintained at 100%. The UK currently sees the biggest rollout of this experiment with 70 companies and more than 3300 staff members signed up. South Africa will now have its turn come February 2023, marking the official start of the 4 Day Week SA Pilot Programme. In response to various factors negatively impacting this beautiful country, our startup has decided to join the pioneering effort.
A Different Approach
With youth unemployment at an all-time high, a dynamic shift in thinking is required. In a recent article, Pilot Director Karen Lowe was quoted as saying:
“It has triggered a debate on the challenges it could help solve in South Africa. These conversations must continue to evolve and represent all voices.”
Our country may still suffer from the remnants of its dark past, but the Rainbow Nation still has much to be grateful for. The challenges of youth unemployment may seem like an insurmountable one, but we possess the resilience to see it solved in this generation.
This is a belief shared by many, including our Founder and Managing Director, Nathan L Simons. Big Beard Web Solutions was launched in 2020 and has since served more than 200 clients with over 400 projects completed. This has generated enough work to see the business expand during one of the worst pandemics in human history. In two short years it has grown from a one-person operation, to four-strong.
To Achieve a Cherished Dream
South Africa is a country of enterprising individuals. Apartheid, load shedding and the many other challenges we face, pale in comparison to our enduring grit. While it’s encouraging to see our name mentioned alongside South Africa’s largest management and technology consulting firm, this is merely a means to an end.
“If our Founder was able to train a high school graduate and former coffee shop manager to become web developers, then this speaks volumes for what lies ahead come 2023. We will undoubtedly see an increase in profits, staff, etc. but this will be directly attributed to how well we listen to our team and action on insights; like a four-day work week, to better serve their interests.” David-John Wayne Bailey, Marketing Manager at Big Beard Web Solutions.
Trevor Noah once joked about how South Africa is always slow to follow the lead of the international community. A sentiment shared by many of our citizens. However, we are now faced with a unique opportunity to become global trendsetters. To be part of a movement that will positively affect several factors including, declining mental wellness statistics and gender inequality in the workplace. In addition, the 4 Day Week SA Pilot Programme will help to even the playing field for the next generation of young people.
Author: Beardem Beardsley
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