Uniqlo To Try A 4-Day Workweek

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A three-day weekend, every week? Sounds like a dream. But for some of Uniqlo's full-time employees, it's about to be a reality. Bloomberg reports that Fast Retailing, the parent company of Uniqlo, Theory, and J Brand, will be cutting down its workweek to four days, starting in October, for some 10,000 full-time employees at Uniqlo Japan. That's about a fifth of the company's entire workforce and includes in-store employees. The goal is reportedly to help retain full-time employees, who often decide to work part-time in order to be with their families more, Fast Retailing says. Having a four-day week, however, means that the workers will be on call 10 hours a day for those four days. Plus, they are required to work Saturdays and Sundays, as those are typically Uniqlo's busiest times. Whether or not this will last remains to be seen; Japanese work culture is notorious for being intense, and recent data from The Guardian showed that 22% of Japanese workers are pulling more than 49-hour weeks. (Only 16% of U.S. workers have hours that long.) And while many surveys have found that flexible work hours and work-from-home options create more productive environments, there don't seem to be many other major companies adopting such policies.

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