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How a four-day week could transform working life

8 Nov 2019

Microsoft Japan successfully trialled a four-day work week, while Irish legislation around leave entitlements calls for new employer policies.

In the Careers section this week, we kept track of the latest sci-tech jobs announcement across the country, heard some different perspectives from those working in the world of software and computer science, and also turned our attention to the topic of work-life balance.

Microsoft Japan published results from its four-day work week trial, citing increases in happiness and productivity among staff after the month-long summer programme.

William Fry noted that Irish employers may have some work to do if they are to comply with new legislation around parental leave. The recent amendments include increases to both the allocated time that parents can take and the age of the child that the leave can be taken for.

And, are you familiar with the phenomenon of ‘boundary confusion’? A new Udemy report suggested that lines between personal and professional lives are being blurred in offices across the US, impacting employees’ performance, productivity and satisfaction.

“With open floor plans, always-on communication, social media and casual workplaces, today’s employees feel increasing pressure to share more with their co-workers, often leading to crossed boundaries,” said Cara Brennan Allamano, senior vice-president of HR at Udemy.

Career insights

Danny Walsh from Fidelity Investments had a childhood obsession with computer hackers. Now, the skills he has acquired and the knowledge he has developed have helped him land his dream job as a penetration tester at Fidelity Investments. 

Viasat’s Robert Alves De Jesus took us through his work as a visual designer, contributing to the company’s development of in-flight experience products for airlines and passengers, and Lynsey Scott, a software engineer at Liberty IT, told us why no two days are ever the same in her job. 

We also visited the Dublin office of Dun & Bradstreet, where we heard from software developer Hazel Bracken about her time in the company so far, and from senior technical manager Patrick O’Sullivan about how teams celebrate diversity and inclusion at the company.

Words of wisdom

To help pick out the best tips for boosting your productivity, we published an infographic with 13 lessons for achieving a more productive and efficient work ethic, based on scientific research.

Meanwhile, a new video series from recruitment company Randstad highlighted the challenges that exist for people returning to working life after recovering from a serious illness, with advice for anyone going through a similar situation. The videos feature people such as Terry, a plumber who had a stroke, and Charmaigne, a property and facilities officer who lived with cancer.

Finally, in jobs news, telecoms provider KN Circet revealed its 18-month recruitment plan to take on 600 people in Dublin, and travel tech firm Travelport announced plans to open a new sales centre in Dublin, creating 22 jobs within the first year.

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Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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