Your employee might tell you on your face how much they love their job and how lucky they feel to be associated with the organization. 

But the moment you turn your back or you assign a new task, a different mood hits. Moreover, how many times have you witnessed your employees delay tasks to Monday when assigned on Friday? Well, this is not just your story, but how across sectors similar stories echo.  

To understand this better and its impact on productivity, researchers across Iceland conducted a study on over 2500 employees for four years to find out that a 4-day work week, without a pay-cut, actually improved productivity and mental-well being amongst employees. 

For complete 4 years, researchers tracked down 2500 employees, whose workweek was reduced to 36 hours and reported in their study published by Autonomy, a UK based progressive think tank that “worker wellbeing dramatically increased across a range of indicators, from perceived stress and burnout to health and work-life balance.”

This included participants working across various industries like hospitals, schools, playschools, offices, etc. During the course of the same study, the 40 hours work week of employees in Iceland was brought down to 35-36 hours. (It is illegal to work beyond 13 hours a day in Iceland). 

Post this exercise, participants confirmed it allowed them to focus on their health, socializing, and reducing stress with enhanced performance. 

While the survey intrigued a lot of votes in favor, we cannot really miss the question “is it really sustainable for companies to actually work 4 days in a week?”

Well, let’s find out, whether or not the idea of squeezed work week fits fine.

The pros and cons of a four-day workweek

Is it possible to get the same amount of work done in four days as you would in five? If so, how much time should you spend on email or other tasks?  With more and more people working remotely, many are turning towards a 4 day work week. Some companies have already made this change to accommodate remote workers. But is it really worth it? Will your company save money with fewer employees, will productivity increase due to decreased distractions, or could there be another reason behind the change? Let’s take a look at some pros and cons.  

Before we begin, let us shed some light on two possibilities. Employees may be more productive on fewer days, which could lead to higher productivity levels for employers. Also, employees would likely be happier because they’re not working as much overtime or away from home so often. But, there’s no guarantee that productivity would actually increase if an employer switched to a shorter week; in fact, there could even be less output due to decreased morale and company culture in general. 

Also read: Top 22 Workplace Productivity Statistics You Can not Afford to Ignore in 2021

Let us now unveil how this most talked idea will actually impact the work culture across industries. 

Pros of Working 4 days a week

A four-day week is great for reducing operating costs. It’s because the work model requires businesses to close down one extra day, bringing their total number of scheduled hours in a year closer to 60 instead of 74 or so on its normal schedule – this saves money! Lastly, employees don’t have paychecks just get coffee shop lattes during your free time at lunchtime either since they’re not required anymore when you only come into town every second Saturday anyway (saving more!).

1. Happier and Satisfied Employees

With a three-day weekend, workers can take time off for themselves and spend it as they wish. This leads to more happiness which in turn makes them productive at work because their morale is high enough that they want to dedicate 100% of themselves to do great things with your company. This works for the organization as employees who are happy at home tend not only to be healthier but also stay longer than other workers looking for another job opportunity – making you look good as well since this shows commitment from the company to its employees.

2. Reduced Health Problems

More than one-third of businesses see a rise in stress-related illnesses. However, when employees get long weekends with more time spent on family and friends this naturally leads to improved well-being which can help them feel reinvigorated after hectic weeks at work!

In fact, it’s been found that working less doesn’t make you happier – instead, employers should focus their attention towards creating an environment where individuals are able to spend quality moments away from occupation so they don’t burn out quickly. 

3. Better Retention

Enables More Free Time to Spend With Family and Friends. The benefits of flexible work schedules are two-fold. First, employees have more free time which they can use towards their own personal goals or pursuits that may be outside the workplace requirements for team-building purposes (such as spending quality one on ones). Secondly but equally important in many ways is providing fewer distractions when compared with an office setting due largely because it makes people happier at what they do – this equates to better productivity levels so business becomes efficient too!

4. Better Interactions and Team Building

It’s not just about getting things done, it is about being efficient and focusing on what matters most. With a four-day workweek, teams will have less time for aimless discussions or disputes which in turn leads them closer together while working towards achieving goals creatively with dedication instead of spending too much energy-wasting their efforts on pointless bickering over whose responsibility this was last week when they should’ve been doing something else entirely different anyways!

While the pros have been listed out, there are a few cons attached to 4 days work week as well. Also, this can be a reason why it is taking too long for companies to accept it globally. 

Also read: 9 Effective Task Management Strategies For Higher Productivity

Cons of 4 Days Work Week

1. Does not suit all business models

While a four-day workweek can be beneficial to the majority of companies, it is not practical or feasible for certain types. The model may serve you well if:  -Your company has enough time and resources available in order to maintain operations while only working four days per week; Alternatively, try implementing some other changes like shorter hours (e.g., two 10 hour shifts/weeks)

2. Longer Working Hours in a day Create more Stress

Employees on four-day weeks are likely to work 40 hours because their jobs require them too. In cases like these, the employees’ schedules sometimes extend up to 10 or 12 hours per day. The longer your working schedule impacts both productivity levels which can ultimately lead towards less overall well-being in an employee’s life through higher rates for depression symptoms than before they started working extended shifts  This is why it’s important for employers who hire people into long term positions not just be thinking about how much time off each employee needs but also if there will be enough sleep during any given week so as not create unnecessary stressors within one person regarding another aspect outside

3. Unutilized Workforce

A four-day week may not work for everyone, but the extra day gives employees more time off and can make up any overtime they miss out on. If you have a job that needs constant attention or is just really intense then this might not be ideal though because there’s less manpower available so it will cost your company money to hire people who are willing to take their place while they’re away.

How to support 4 days work week if you’re considering it?

The four-day workweek is a great idea for employers who want to reduce their employee costs. Utilize a workforce management software like Workstatus, which will help you determine how much an individual worker contributes every day; this way you can make sure they are still productive without cutting down on the number of hours worked each week. 

Final Thoughts: should your business opt for the 4-days work week?

The idea of shortening the workweek has been very popular in Europe, but it is an extreme approach that requires employers and employees alike to make a big change. A better alternative may be adopting flexible or hybrid policies instead for those who don’t want such drastic measures- something more gradual will go less far than implementing one major policy switch with its accompanying consequences on everyone involved

A shorter day means not having enough time left over at night; this can become problematic when there’s little else happening during these quieter moments after hours. It becomes even harder if your job doesn’t allow any downtime whatsoever apart from meeting deadlines (even though we all know how important they are!).


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