Russia may introduce a four-day work week in 15 years when there are plenty of labor-saving technologies, according to Georgy Ostapkovich, Director of the Market Research Center at the Higher School of Economics, who spoke at a National News Service news conference on August 19.
“The four-day work week initiative is humane and it may significantly improve the quality of life. People would spend their free time on creative activities, playing with their children and relaxation. However, in reality some people would actually use their extra day-off for a side job to make fringe earning. The median wage across our economy is currently RUR 35K ($524), which is under EUR 500. People are experiencing a shortage of real disposable income,” the economist noted.
He added that a four-day work week will free up additional 52 days-off per year.
“This will result in a downfall of labor productivity. Let’s look at the data from the Federal Statistics Service regarding May, a month with long public holidays and essentially a month with a four-day work week. Compared to April, in May 10% to 12% less is produced of every single item,” Georgy Ostapkovich elaborated. “Due to a four-day work week, Russia’s annual GDP will lose 3% to 4%. Last year, the GDP growth rate was 2.5%. With four days, the GDP growth rate will go into the negative.”
The expert also noted that Russia may switch to a four-day work week in 15 years when Russia adopts plenty of labor-saving technologies.