Nonviolent practice: when can Russia switch to a four-day period

“Question of the near future”

“I think the transition from five working days to four working days will be in the near future. Although some businesses already operate in this form – in the framework of remote or part-time employment. Also, at the height of the pandemic, it was one of the best decisions to retain staff and keep the business operating. But the main condition here is gradual evolution, in no case legal and violent enforcement. It is also necessary to take into account the peculiarities of the work of enterprises with a continuous cycle, in which a shortened working week is initially impossible, Nilov told RIA Novosti.

According to him, the transition to a four-day job for certain types and areas of business would mean a direct reduction in profits.

The politician is confident that “My view is that the market itself will come to optimization whenever possible, artificial restraints or imposition of the opposite will only do harm”.

The deputy noted that a normal balance between work and leisure is quite possible, this was demonstrated by the coronavirus pandemic. According to him, in the context of technical improvement and as artificial intelligence comes into play, some of the usual labor costs will gradually be shifted to equipment and technologies. This will save time to “invest in yourself and your intelligence”.

“Today, the digital revolution is already underway in the world. Businesses require less physical strength and more mental strength. Man is transformed from a worker into a machine operator. In this context, the time has come for another reform in working conditions.”

2019 initiative

Dmitry Medvedev spoke publicly for the first time at the 108th session of the International Labor Organization in Geneva in early June 2019 about a possible transition to a four-day work week. Later, Medvedev served as the head of the government of the Russian Federation.

“Employers will have to increasingly consider the interests of their employees. It is very likely that the future will be a four-day work week… The constant pursuit of success turns into systemic fatigue, chronic stress. People sometimes just light up at work. All this leads to a decrease in labor productivity, which in turn affects economic indicators,” he said.

According to him, it is necessary to develop new approaches to the working day and the workplace. He explained that we were talking about flexible schedules, remote formats, and calling employees as needed. As the head of government at that time, he emphasized that due to technological progress, old professions disappeared and new ones emerged.

Already on October 1 of the same year, the Ministry of Labor of Russia sent a report on the future introduction of a four-day work week to the government.

“This issue requires further study… During the discussion it became clear that the sharp mandatory reduction in the length of the working week carries risks, but also has positive aspects. Therefore, shortening the working week can lead, for example, to an increase in labor costs as well as the cost of production, ”says the website of the Department of Labor.

The Ministry noted that during the discussion of the issue of a four-day working week with authorities, employers and trade unions, it was proposed to consider the issue “on the site of the Russian tripartite commission for the regulation of social and labor relations”. (RTK). Within the framework of the RTK, it was also planned to establish a working group on working hours and flexible employment.

“At the same time, shortening working time while maintaining the wage level, devote time to protecting employee health, increasing workforce productivity and professional working capacity, personal and professional development, a more harmonious combination of family and work responsibilities, sports, culture and leisure,” the ministry said.

“He’s crazy, isn’t he?”

In January of this year, Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council, said in an interview with RIA Novosti that a four-day work week should be changed as economic conditions mature.

“A four-day work week – for some reason, when I said this at the ILO meeting, there was a state of shock, like some kind of revelation. This is necessary, an attempt on the basics. Someone applauded, “That’s right, we need to work less!” said. Someone said: “Is he completely insane or what? So there is not enough money and if you work four days you will get less” etc. said Medvedev.

He noted that they first started talking about it in the 1960s.


“Such a system has been experimentally introduced in many countries. In some, it is already and even legally enforced. The question is the economic readiness to work four days a week. We all understand very well that one person needs to be healed, that three days is better than two. But this cannot be done with just one stroke of the pen, ”said the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.

He added that in Russia “still 60 years ago” there was a six-day workweek that “seems absurd” today.

“Two days off is absolutely natural. And three days off is good. But for this, all the necessary prerequisites must mature. In the meantime, they are starting to appear,” he said.

In modern Russia, there are several companies that transfer their employees to a four-day working week. Businessman Sergey Polonsky told KP.ru that the four-day week was introduced in the Mirax Group more than 10 years ago.

“Hard work at a large company means a lot of stress. Two days off is not enough for recovery. During this time, people manage only to do some household chores, work with children or elderly relatives, but they do not have time for themselves: go to the gym, take a steam bath, lie on the sofa with a book – that is, the brain is rebooted. The head must rest – otherwise interesting ideas will not visit him, ”said the head.

He noted that productivity hasn’t dropped: in four days, employees were able to do what they used to do in five days.

Yaroslav Nilov (LDPR), Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Labor, Social Policy and Veterans Affairs, said that the transition to a four-day working week in Russia is a matter of the near future. He also noted that some businesses in the country already operate in this format.



Source: Gazeta

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