The Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) has said that its ongoing trial runs to assess the impact of a four-day workweek on overall organisational performance have thus far shown favourable outcomes.
The concept, tested in countries like Belgium, Japan, Portugal, and the United Kingdom (UK), gained popularity during the post-pandemic period.
The PGO aims to streamline and improve the quality of its services by enhancing staff performance. It argues that achieving this goal necessitates cultivating a safe, productive, and happy work environment.
The office is conducting experiments where employees work four days a week, deviating from the traditional five-day schedule. The trials, which span six weeks each time, kicked off earlier this year, with the first programme taking place from 23 March to 27 April.
The second phase of the programme commenced on 25 June and runs until 4 August.
The positive outcomes of the initial trial have instilled hope for similar, if not even more favourable, results from the ongoing programme. To evaluate the impact, the PGO compared the results from 23 March – 27 April, with the preceding six weeks (19 February – 22 March).
The PGO says that the analysis of the first March-April trial revealed improvements in the quality and quantity of work, increased acceptance of cases, more discussions, and an uptick in cases filed in courts. Notably, no work was delayed, and the office achieved higher productivity and improved quality within a shorter timeframe. Importantly, no court hearings were cancelled at the request of the PGO during this period.
Employees reportedly shared that the experiment had a positive impact on their family relationships, social and spiritual well-being, work ethic, and willingness to work. All employees who provided feedback requested that this redesigned work arrangement be made permanent.
PGO emphasises that even though employees work four days a week, its services are available throughout the week. The office remains open every day, and cases brought by the public and police are accepted and discussed. Lawyers required to appear in court fulfil their responsibilities accordingly.
On the designated work-from-home day, employees are still expected to complete assigned tasks with monitoring systems in place to ensure their productivity and progress. The PGO highlighted that the fifth day is not considered a holiday. It simply means employees do not need to be physically present at the office. However, if there are significant matters that demand immediate attention, employees may be required to come to the office.
Before the experiment, each unit was asked to inform the management of the work schedule of staff selected to work in the office. Unit heads are responsible for organising essential office activities based on the availability of employees on that specific day. Historical work progress data, case numbers, and court schedules were considered during the planning process, with access to these statistics provided to unit heads.
The PGO says that based on the observed results, this four-day workweek experiment could potentially serve as a blueprint for implementing comparable systems in other offices, customised to meet their specific requirements, contingent upon the presence of effective monitoring systems.
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