A four-day work week is becoming a growing trend as most countries like Iceland have started adopting the practice. However, deciding whether or not the adoption is beneficial for your establishment depends on several factors besides implementing the trend.
A four-day work week could be the turning point in an organization by attracting and retaining talents and customers. On the other hand, it could also pose an immense threat to the establishment’s growth if not properly managed. Most organizations are gravitating toward a work schedule of ten hours four days from eight hours five days, with more employees seeming to appreciate the change.
In contrast, some other organizations opt for a four-hour work week that doesn’t increase employees’ daily work hours. The idea is to cut out one day from the five working days and introduce another measure to compensate for the inequality. So, companies must exercise caution with the schematics before execution, whether this new change gives workers more family or social time.
Therefore this article will discuss the four-day work week, its advantages and disadvantages to help you decide. Keep reading to learn more!
What is a four-day work week?
A four-day work week is a schedule where workers can work for four days instead of the conventional five. Sometimes, adopting the new work trend might be a measure for companies to reduce the cost of employee maintenance or to create more flexible working hours.
Some people wrongly understand the dynamics of a four-day work week as compressing longer work hours into four days.
However, the true definition of a four-day work week is to cut out one day from the conventional five. Therefore workers, including schoolers, only show up for four days a week and have the extra day off. As a result, this new trend creates an extended weekend for workers of three days instead of two—ample time for recreation!
Why does a four-day work week exist?
The rationale behind the four-day work week is to create more time for recreation for workers and students. When people are one day less engaged, they can have more time to pursue other interests like hobbies, get more rest and be more motivated. Also, it creates a better work-life balance among employees, which helps counteract feelings of burnout and work-induced depression.
The idea is that when workers feel well-rested and refreshed, they return to work with higher energy levels to make up for the long weekend with more enthusiasm. It is a subtle way of helping workers protect their energy in the workplace and better manage their workload.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a four-day work week?
Every innovation has significant advantages and disadvantages, whether for the establishment or the workers. However, recent surveys reveal that about a 60percent of workers are comfortable with more flexible work arrangements. Also, some entrepreneurs feel it offers a hybrid working model for their businesses.
For instance, flexible working hours allow more remote workers, thus reducing how much they spend on employee paystubs.
Before deciding whether or not to implement this new system, it is essential to consider the merits and demerits. You can better determine how it benefits the business and your workers.
What are the advantages of a four-day work week?
It increases workers’ motivation and enthusiasm to work.
The four-day work week increases workers’ motivation by making them feel that the organization considers their well-being. It is a way for employers to show support to workers. Some establishments do not directly put workers on the four-day work week schedule. Instead, they use it as a catalyst to encourage hard work by using the four-day work week as a price earned through dedicated service.
It saves costs for employers.
Running a business costs lots of money. Whether it is staff maintenance, facility maintenance or payroll management for full-time staff, you can reduce the rate of using and consuming office facilities and supplies by cutting out one day from the usual work week. For instance, shorter work weeks save paper by reducing the number of invoices printed and electricity consumption. This way, the company saves reasonable costs on running the business.
There are fewer demands for sick leave.
Longer weekends and shorter working days keep employees from requesting more sick leave. The reason is that they have more time to make the doctor’s appointments without taking time off from their jobs. This way, the company still gets considerable work done while having more healthy W-2 employees.
It increases productivity
Increased employee productivity is probably the most obvious benefit of the four-day work week. The reason is that an inverse proportion exists between reduced employee work hours and productivity. Essentially, a 20% decrease in employee work hours leads to a 20 to 40% increase in employee productivity. The reason is the positive mental health benefits of an extra day off—employees are more enthusiastic about working when they experience an improved work-life balance. As a result, their attitudes towards their jobs improve.
More talent attraction and retention
As establishments continue to adopt recent trends in business and operation, top talents continuously seek jobs that offer better conditions of service. Also, the key to retaining more employees is to create situations that reduce burnout and maximize employee wellness.
It is beneficial for the environment.
If you seek ways to make your establishment an eco-friendly business, the four-day work week has more environmental benefits than you can imagine. It means fewer days of commuting to work, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Also, there is less office energy and material resource consumption, reducing the environmental pollution.
It encourages employee autonomy.
Increasing employee autonomy by reducing their work week is a subtle way to empower them towards productivity. The workers fell entrusted with the independence of planning their schedules to help them do their jobs. Also, it encourages better self-management, causing the employee to take a personal approach to their jobs. For instance, it makes them own their careers and take them more seriously to maintain their employer’s trust.
Increased customer satisfaction
Although it might not seem like it, reduced working hours increases customer satisfaction. Shorter working weeks mean the company is open for longer hours with employees who feel less tired to attend to them. As a result, the company is less likely to have workers who skip work for one engagement. Consequently, customers are better treated and kept satisfied.
What are the disadvantages of a four-day work week?
It increases the risk of losing customers and incurring decreased sales.
While short work weeks benefit employees, it might be disastrous to the business in terms of poor sales. The reason is that some customers might struggle with accepting that they can’t access the company one less day a week. As a result, it could encourage them to try patronizing your competitors who might work longer weeks.
Reduced work coverage
Some establishments fear working one less day a week might create loopholes in project management. The reason is that some departments in the office might struggle with covering all tasks for the week. As a result, the company has to deal with some unfinished projects and missed deadlines. The fear of poor coverage is also why some establishments work even longer weeks than the conventional five days, such as working on Saturdays and Sundays for half the usual hours.
It could increase stress levels for workers.
Stress levels could increase for workers, especially if the establishment gives reduced work hours as a price for diligence. As a result, many workers might work under stress to secure their entitlement to a four-day work week. It could indirectly mess with the work-life balance of some workers as they might have to carry some work home.
Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of the four-day work week, you can better decide if it is a good fit for your business. Although it seems pretty new, several companies are trying it out to see how it turns out for them. Hopefully, this article gives you a head start in making your decision.
FAQs: How many years does the average person work before retiring?
How many hours does the average person work before retiring?
The average retirement age for a work-life of about 40 to 42 years is 62 to 64 years. While some people retire at 52 when they feel they have some strength left to enjoy their golden years. Also, about 10 percent of social security recipients claim their benefits by affirming a retirement age of 70. However, most low-income earring individuals often retire much later than their higher-earning counterparts.
What is burnout, and how does it feel?
Burnout is an overwhelming feeling of excessive stress and mental exhaustion from overworking. Most people who experience burnout complain of a lack of motivation, energy and profound emptiness. Often, the victim feels overwhelmed, drowned by tasks, and drained of all positive energy.
What could be the possible effects of a four-day work week on your brain?
A four-day work week creates ample time for leisure and recreation, allowing workers to develop and maintain a reasonable work-life balance. It relieves burnout, thus stimulating the release of endorphins which contribute to workers’ mental health and emotional balance.