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Businesses Consider 4-Day Workweek; Tour of London`s Elizabeth Tower. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired October 04, 2022 - 04:00   ET


COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Happy Tuesday. I`m Coy Wire. Thanks for making us part of your day at CNN 10.

Let`s kick off our show with a discussion on the four-day workweek. Sounds good, right, teachers? Is it possible though? Is it better?

The concept of the four-day work week is simple, get paid the same but only work four days a week. A growing list of companies are testing shorter work

weeks to avoid employee burnout especially as the United States is faced with a tight labor market and employers are doing more to attract talent.

Workers are burned out from the pandemic and are putting greater value on personal time. Quiet quitting and the great resignation are popular terms

in offices all across the country.

This week, 28 companies in the U.S. and Canada began a six-month pilot program of shortened work weeks in partnership with a non-profit called

four-day week global.

And this isn`t the first program of its kind. Companies that participated in pilot program in Britain say they saw no loss in productivity during a

similar experiment and in some cases, they saw significant improvement. Employees say they have more time to spend with their families to invest in

hobbies and to sleep.

Now, all this they say boosts their well-being, therefore making them more productive at work. Many companies that try a four-day work week, they say

they`ll likely keep them going.

But it`s also important to note that the four-day work week is not the norm. And for some industries, it`s not even possible. Companies in

manufacturing and service industries and restaurants, they need to hire more people for more shifts which would cut profits and ultimately impact

the consumers.

Let`s hear more now from CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Five days pay, four days work, a four-day workweek.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four-day workweek, sounds amazing, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMAEL: Shorter workweek, same pay?

ROMANS: More than 180 companies and thousands of employees around the globe have joined a six-month pilot program to see how a four-day workweek

could function for their businesses. And so far, the experience has been --



SAMANTHA LOSEY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, UNITY: Chaotic. We didn`t know what we were doing. We were all over the shop.

ROMANS: It sounds like an idea fresh out of the pandemic. A Silicon Valley dream, right? Not quite.

The reality is that the desire for a shorter workweek goes back a long time, a really long time.

JULIET SCHOR, ECONOMIST AND SOCIOLOGY PROFESSOR, BOSTON COLLEGE: In the 1970s, it was fairly popular and people were talking about the crisis of

leisure, and then it faded from you for a long time.

ROMANS: I guess the tide has gone out and we`ve seen just how strapped we all were with our work lives and home lives and lack of balance there.

SCHOR: The pandemic turbocharged the four-day week because employers started, you know, having to figure out some solutions to the stress and

burnout. But the other thing is is remote work because one of the things that we hear from management is that remote work taught management, it

could trust its employees.

ROMANS: Okay. So let`s talk about the basic parameters then of the four- day week global pilot program.

SCHOR: The requirements are no reduction in pay. So all employees are still getting their five days pay. And there must be a meaningful reduction

in work time.

So the vast majority are going to a four-day 32-hour week. You`ve got to figure out how to do it so that you can maintain your productivity and your

output and so forth.

ROMANS: Why did you guys decide to try this?

LELAND: There was enough evidence out there that suggested that companies particularly like Kickstarter can successfully transition to a four-day

work week while maintaining or improving productivity. But we`re also looking at the way that work was changing given the pandemic. We moved to

fully remote and we just saw people that were burnt out and tired.

And retaining our employees, making easier to hire employees and making sure our employees were happy at home is really why we decided to pursue


LOSEY: The first six weeks navigating those was really, really hard. After that first weekend of us doing four days and then, you know, having either

the Friday, the Monday off, I thought, what have I done? I`m going to ruin this business without even trying.

ROMANS: But now fast forward, you`ve had the mindset shift. You figured out the handovers.

LOSEY: Yeah.

ROMANS: People came in. The workers were fighting for it to keep the four- day workweek. And how are you now?

LOSEY: We`re doing amazing now. By the time we had kind of gotten into that fourth month, it really started to go together. And one of the big

benefits we`ve seen is just the perspective and almost kind of freshness that people bring to work with them because of those four days and that

fifth day really giving them time to do stuff they want to do.



WIRE: Ten-second trivia time:

What`s the name of this famous clock tower?

The Elizabeth Tower, Big Ben, Parliament Tower, or the Tower of London?

The correct answer is the Elizabeth Tower. Big Ben is the nickname for its hour bell.


WIRE: Time now to travel across the pond to the city of London. Their world famous clock is getting a facelift. The Elizabeth Tower is so much

more than a timepiece or piece of architecture. It`s a symbol of British freedom and democracy. It`s been under construction since 2017 and will

cost million pounds when all said and done.

Let`s go inside now to get a glimpse of London that not many people get to see.


REPORTER: It`s probably the most famous clock tower in the world, a symbol of London, British democracy and freedom that needed saving urgently.

Since 2017, Big Ben`s bongs have been almost entirely silent. And until recently, the Elizabeth Tower has been hidden behind scaffolding undergoing

an 18 million pound makeover to fix leaking roofs and crumbling stonework among other issues.

NICK STURGE, RESTORATION PROJECT MANAGER: We`ve replaced lots of stone. We`ve replaced all of the clock face glass. We`ve taken off all of the cast

iron up at the roof level and repaired it and put it back on.

REPORTER: International tourists have never been permitted inside the tower, but parliament`s estates historian, Dr. Mark Collins, can take us

399 steps to the top and show us what`s changed.

DR. MARK COLLINS, HISTORIAN: We have one of the cast iron dials which has 324 pieces of mouth-blown opal glass. We found that it wasn`t actually

black paint on the exterior but it was a very vivid Prussian blue which has now been returned.

REPORTER: New energy efficient LED lights will illuminate the clocks. They`ll be able to change color to support causes or festivals.

Hundreds of cogs, gears and chains that turn the dial hands and operate the bell hammers have been removed and cleaned.

COLLINS: This is the striking train which is Big Ben.

REPORTER: When the mechanism and bell are reacquainted, Big Ben can strike again and the renovation will be complete.

COLLINS: Central one is Big Ben, the hour bell, which weighs over 13 tons, and then the four quarter bells give the chew, the Westminster quarters,

which are taken from "Handel`s Messiah".

REPORTER: Shortly after it was installed, a crack appeared in the bell but instead of having it replaced, the bell was turned, the hammer size reduced

and is told with a deep sonorous E note ever since.

COLLINS: It`s such a serious note after the quarter chime.

REPORTER: After the devastating wars of the 20th century, Big Ben`s bongs took on new meaning.

COLLINS: First of all, it plays its part in a ceremony, on armistice days, in the remembrance of the thousands who died in the first war. When we come

to the Second World War, it`s heard around the world. It`s broadcast by the BBC and people hear it and they know that there is still one free country

left in Europe.

REPORTER: At the very top of the tower, beyond the gilding that has been restored and replaced, unique 360 degree views across the city, down onto

parliament square and Westminster abbey, and over the Thames in South London.

COLLINS: The clock tower has become such a feature of London. It has a festive ads or it`s got a sort of toy like charm to it, and I think now

that it`s returned to this sort of frivolity that they`ve had with all the gilding replaced and the new color scheme, I think it`s looking very

special indeed.


WIRE: And for today`s "10 out of 10", a tremendous way to plan an autumn trip across the country to see unbelievable sights. Nature lovers are

falling in love with a guide that shows exactly when and where to see the charm of the changing fall colors in every state. You can pumpkin spice

things up a bit with precision using the interactive map at Hurry though because when winter comes, this lovely

time of year leaves.

Time now for a special shout out to Midwest City Middle School in Midwest City, Oklahoma. We`re not going to leave you hanging. Thanks for

subscribing and commenting on our YouTube page.

I`m Coy Wire. This is CNN 10 and we`ll see you tomorrow.