More and more big organizations are turning to a shorter four-day workweek and give their employees an extra day off. While it may potentially sound like a weak business strategy, it, in fact, has proven to be extremely beneficial not only for the workers who get more free time but for the companies, too. How? Read on to find out!
Advantages of Implementing a Shorter 4-Day Work Week for Employers
Reduced Cost of Running the Business
The first advantage of a shorter work week for business owners is the fact that running a company for four days a week instead of five could significantly reduce the operation costs.
While we do not recommend to cut down the salary of employees due to a shorter work week (which we will discuss further in this article), the other expenses will inevitably get smaller. For instance, if due to a shorter work week your office will be closed for one extra day, the running costs will drop.
More Efficient Use of Time
One of the biggest concerns when it comes to introducing a shorter four-day work week at an organisation is whether the employees are ready to squeeze the 40 hours-worth of workload into 32 hours. While it does seem like a valid question at first, there is plenty of research to confirm that people do not actually stay productive for the entirety of the working day and can often concentrate on carrying out their tasks for the maximum of six hours.
The rest of the time people at work spend procrastinating, which can be a slippery path to step on. There are plenty of tips and tricks on motivating your employees to stop procrastinating, but not always they are applicable at your particular workplace. After all, it is general knowledge that the more time you waste on doing nothing, the less motivated you are to get back on the grid.
While this is absolutely understandable and fits well into the general pattern of people’s average attention span, it also means that it can reduce productivity and lead to the organisation losing thousands of dollars due to the workers not being effective in carrying out the work they do. Ideally, the human brains need a combination of an hour of intense concentration with the compulsory 15 minutes off after that.
At the same time, however, giving people less time to carry out their usual tasks makes them get more focused on their job and stop checking social media instead of actually working. Moreover, it also promotes creativity as people turn to brainstorm to come up with some alternative, more efficient ways of completing the task they have been assigned.
In addition to that, employers themselves would allocate their time at work more effectively. It is a known fact that long work meetings are outdated and take away from productivity rather than contribute to it. Indeed, unnecessary meetings often disrupt the working process and do not have any positive effect on the timely completion of tasks and efficient use of time whatsoever.
Recruitment and Retention Opportunities
Another advantage that comes with an organisation implementing a shorter four-day work week is that fact that it gives it a competitive advantage in recruitment.
Now that more and more people are learning about the advantages of working remotely, and more and more professionals are opting for freelancing, the flexibility of the working schedule is one of the biggest perks that could persuade a highly-skilled qualified employee to either start working for the organization that offers such opportunity or stay with them for longer.
While it is difficult to compare a shortened workweek in office to remote work in terms of the extent of flexibility available to the employee, for those who are interested in working in-site in particular, this could be the factor that would attract the best specialists to send their CVs to your human resources department.
This is particularly relevant considering the fact that despite all the advantages of a shorter work week, it is still a rare thing to contract. Not a lot of companies offer such working conditions, so being at the frontier of the trend will give you the first-mover’s advantage.
At last but not at least, arranging a shorter four-day workweek can boost the levels of your employee’s happiness. Data from the World Happiness Report 2019 and the OECD shows that there is a strong correlation between the number of days worked and the general happiness of workers. As they have more time to renew their energy while spending time with family, playing csgobettingg, doing DIY or just resting.
This can be easily explained with the fact that having more days off is exciting for workers and motivates them to get through the week much easier. In turn, this is beneficial for business owners because of happy workers being more productive workers.
According to one of the most famous motivation strategies, Herzberg strategy, there are two types of factors that affect the worker’s willingness to work: hygiene factors and motivational factors. According to Herzberg’s theory, hygiene factors do not contribute to employee satisfaction, but the lack of them can be a deal-breaker and prevent them from achieving their job goals.
The number of working days is a hygiene factor. Subsequently, making a preferred arrangement will make workers more satisfied. This, in turn, will motivate them to work harder and overall be more productive and committed to their jobs.
Advantages of Implementing a Shorter 4-Day Work Week for Employees
However, it is not only the business owners that are going to benefit from implementing a shorter four-day work week instead of the traditional Monday to Friday schedule. Employees, being a huge part of the organisation’s ecosystem, will be affected by this change, too. And it is fair to say that the effects of the change are majorly the positive ones.
Significant Improvements in Health
As has been mentioned previously, a shorter work week affects the happiness levels of employees, and this is definitely something employees themselves could benefit from.
One of the biggest disadvantages associated with a five-day work week is that office work can be strenuous and repetitive. Lack of rest can have adverse effects on the mental health of employees and even lead to depression.
In addition to that, having an additional day off, granted that you spend it outside and not just sit at your computer as you would at the office, can ease your back problems.
Furthermore, having more time to relax can reduce the stress levels and make you more calm and positive, which is always good to have!
Allows to Cut Expenses
The subject of cost reduction has already been briefly discussed in the previous paragraphs in terms of it being beneficial for employers. However, employees could save up a little bit of money when working a shorter work week, too!
Granted that companies maintain their workers’ salaries at the same level even with the decrease in the number of working hours per week, the disposable income of the employees will increase significantly. The explanation for this is simple: you might not realise it, but you actually spend a lot of money when you are trying to make money.
If we are talking about the in-site job, those expenses include money spent on your commute, lunch money, and other small things that often go unnoticed throughout the day. However, even for those employees who work remotely, some of the aforementioned expenses are relevant and very much existent in their lives. Nowadays, remote employees often choose to work not from the comfort of their house but opt for a different quiet space where they could be productive. For instance, a large percentage of Americans go to cafes and anti-cafes for work on their laptop. Not only that requires transportation, so, technically, it still creates additional commute expenses, but it also turns out to be costly in terms of having to order something at the place where you sit.
While those expenses often seem insignificant, they add up over the course of some time and eventually turn into a considerable sum that could be used up elsewhere. Hence, having even just four more additional days off per month could noticeably improve your financial situation before the payday.
Here are just some ways in which a shorter work week helps employees to save money:
Regardless of whether you use public transport to get to the office or drive there, you could still benefit from having a shorter work week.
First of all, you can save up the gas money you would normally spend on getting to work. After all, if you cut out two trips a week, it could still have a noticeable effect on the frequency of your gas refills, and, subsequently, the amount of money you spend on it.
The same logic applies to car maintenance. Every 3,000 to 6,000 miles your car needs service, which can often turn out to be rather costly. If you manage to travel to and from work less, which is essentially what having a shorter work week is about, you will extend the time between the service check-ups.
Child Care Services
If you have children that are not old enough to attend school, and you do not have anyone to leave them with during your workday, it is likely that you either send them off to the day child care or hire a nanny to look after your offspring. Both options take away from your final monthly disposable income.
If you have a shorter work week, you can spend the additional day off with your kid yourself, and therefore save up on child care.
There are a lot of additional expenses that we make throughout the day and which often go unnoticed. If you start tracking all the little purchases you make on a daily basis on coffee and snacks and other stuff simply because you need to utilize your work break, you will see how getting just one extra day off per week could make you significantly richer at the end of the month.
Better Work-Life Balance
A large percentage of adult employees report that they are lacking in their social life department because of their busy working schedule. Often, working every day of the weekdays and wasting a lot of time on commuting leaves little to no time to spend on social life.
Employees simply do not have enough time to bond with their families and friends, which can be frustrating and lonely. In addition to that, having work on your mind every second of your life can affect your ability to concentrate on the stuff not related to work. This can start a loop of continuous stress.
At last but not at least, getting an extra day off will allow you to deal with your home business much more effectively and will make you feel on top of your game!
Drawbacks of Implementing a Shorter 4-Day Work Week
Just like any other matter, implementation of a shorter work week has two sides of the medal. Despite all the benefits it carries, there are also some disadvantages associated with it.
First of all, not all workplaces and organisations can adopt this pattern due to the peculiarities of the business. Some businesses cannot fit a shorter work week into their business model as it would be detrimental for the business’ wellbeing and growth.
Secondly, in a situation where employers do not reduce the number of working hours per week and simply increase the number of working hours per day in order to shorten the work week, it can lead to greater levels of stress and exhaustion in workers and subsequently result in a drop of productivity and motivation.In Summary
The bottom line is that benefits of a shorter four-day work week significantly outweigh the drawbacks it could have. The only case when implementing a shorter work week is not an option is when it is virtually impossible due to the peculiarities of the organisation’s nature. Other than that, this form of arranging working schedules is highly effective and beneficial not only for business owners but for employees, too!
Therefore, it can be concluded that having a shorter four-day workweek can indeed be beneficial to all!
Eric Brown is an experienced journalist who enjoys writing about sport and lifestyle. He has recently launched his own website https://csgobettingg.com/ where he covers topics of great interest for modern men.