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In the ever-changing economy of today, there’s one certain thing, and that’s working smarter than harder has become normal.
New cultures, such as working in an open space office, working from home, or building a digital nomad company, all contribute to this new normality.
With technology providing more efficient ways to work, there’s no end to opportunities for people to find out what works best for them.
With ample options, it is up to each person what they feel most comfortable with and how productive they can be with different setups.
One experiment worth mentioning is the four-day working week, where workers are required to work four days instead of 5 with 12 hours a day rather than 9, which makes them satisfied with the fact that they have 3 days off every week and their productivity remains the same.
The rise of the 4 day work week has been fueled by the rise of automation and data analytics, as well as companies’ desire to give their employees more free time outside of work hours, which helps both companies and employees to maintain a healthier lifestyle.
Multiple successful start-ups worldwide are operating solely on a 4 day work week, including Teksavvy, Panasonic, and Google, setting up new standards of maintaining work-life balance with better productivity and growth.
However, as we all know, everything with some benefits also carries disadvantages. The same goes for the 4 days working week as it brings challenges and risks that can affect the company if not managed properly.
In this blog, we will understand 4 days work per week and some of the pros and cons of this new way of working. We will also understand how to make it work for you so that you can make the most out of this working culture.
Let’s dive in-
What is the 4-day Workweek?
A four-day work week is an experiment where employees work for four days but with longer hours each day, totaling the standard 48 hours of working time. Under this work culture, employees are paid for their four-day shifts and standard working hours from Monday to Thursday and get three days off per week from Friday to Sunday.
The four-day workweek culture is spreading rapidly across major cities like London, Canada, and the United States, as it can increase productivity while reducing stress levels and providing better work-life balance for employees.
3 Pros of 4-day Workweek
3 Pros Of 4-Day Workweek
Several companies are shifting away from the traditional 9-to-5 routine and instead adopting a 4-day workweek or other compressed schedules, and it seems that workers are benefiting from the changes.
A shorter workweek can help increase employee productivity, as people with more time off tend to be happier with their jobs. In addition, workers at these companies tend to be more productive than those who work longer weeks.
Here are three pros of a 4-day working week that will make you want to switch to this schedule.
1. Happier and More Satisfied Employees
Studies show that employees on a four-day workweek are less likely to leave their job, saving money and increasing loyalty.
In addition, they experience less stress because they have three days off during the week, which makes them feel productive enough for the rest of the week.
They are more satisfied in their jobs and maintain a healthy lifestyle, which allows them to perform better than if they were working five days a week.
Moreover, happier and more satisfied employees tend to produce higher quality work and offer more innovative ideas that help companies grow and be more competitive.
2. Higher Productivity
If your company is struggling to stay competitive or meet business goals, such as reducing costs and increasing profits, look no further than implementing a four-day workweek schedule.
Workers on this type of arrangement are typically more motivated and tend to get more done since they have an extra day off during the week to recharge and take care of personal tasks like errands or housework that need attention.
The reduced workdays translate into increased productivity, enabling them to deliver high-quality results and complete projects faster than before.
3. Better Work-Life Balance
A 4-day workweek creates a better balance between life and work by giving workers three days off during the week where they can relax and spend time on their hobbies, with family, or doing household chores.
They can also read books or just go out for coffee, which helps them recharge and live a healthier lifestyle that ultimately leads to higher productivity when they return to work on Monday morning.
Moreover, having a better work-life balance also brings better employee morale and less burnout, which means more engaged employees and lower turnover rates.
3 Cons Of 4-Day Workweek
Proponents of the four-day work week argue that it gives workers more time to pursue hobbies, spend time with friends and family, and even exercise more regularly, all of which can be good things.
However, there are also some downsides to working only 4 days per week. Before you leap, consider these three cons of working a 4 day work week and weigh them against the benefits of having an extra free day each week.
1. You end up working longer hours as compared to usual hours
Working from Monday through Friday is the norm for most people, so if you only have 4 days to get your work done, then this means you need to put in extra hours a day on average to complete your job.
These extra hours and efforts can lead to more stress and increased risks of burnout which can negatively affect the performance of employees at the company and the quality of their work, resulting in lower overall productivity.
2. Four day work weeks are not feasible for everyone
To see the true cost of switching to a 4 day work week, companies must first assess whether or not they employ a diverse workforce or offer flexible work arrangements.
For example, many jobs require long periods of uninterrupted concentration without any breaks or interruptions, making the four-day workweek difficult to opt for.
Therefore this working culture is not feasible for everyone as it may result in low productivity for those who work in more demanding positions and/or who need to maintain focus throughout an entire shift to get their tasks done.
3. More difficulty in establishing routines
One of the main complaints about a 4 day work week is how difficult it would be to maintain some semblance of routine when life moves faster than ever before.
By increasing the number of hours in a typical workday, one inevitably works later into the night to finish what he or she needs to do for the day.
This can lead to unstable routines and sleep schedules, which are detrimental to overall health and wellness and can cause various health issues, resulting in decreased overall efficiency and performance.
3 Tips For Managing Your 4-Day Workweek
Setting up a 4-day working week can seem like a daunting task to get started with, but here are some tips to help you manage your new schedule.
1. Set Time Limits
It’s essential to set time limits for tasks and projects and carve out blocks of time where you can relax, as this will allow your employees to meet deadlines while also maintaining a sense of balance.
Employers can use time-tracking software such as Workstatus to track the time spent by their employees on every task and ensure that they’re completing their projects promptly and achieving maximum productivity and output.
Making the switch to a 4-day workweek does not mean the workload of the employee changes, nor should it.
With less time available, it becomes critical to prioritize and identify which tasks need to be completed urgently and which can wait until tomorrow.
Setting specific goals and breaking them down into smaller objectives will also go a long way toward achieving maximum output during shorter workdays.
This way, employees can still accomplish everything they need during the week and feel accomplished after putting in their best effort.
3. Establish Routines
When it comes to establishing a 4-day workweek, employers must be mindful that it can take time for employees to adjust and find a rhythm.
To prevent disruptions in their daily routine and sleep patterns, managers should provide ample opportunities for their employees to adjust and transition gradually.
For instance, the company can start by gradually introducing a 4-day workweek over several weeks before finally implementing this type of work culture as the standard.
Employees also need to understand that they still need to accomplish everything they usually do within shorter workdays, so establishing habits early on will be key to sustaining productivity in the long run.
The four-day workweek is the new normal. As a company, you need to decide whether or not you want to be on the ground floor of this change or risk being left behind.
There are many benefits and drawbacks of moving towards a four-day workweek, which is essential to consider before implementing such a shift as it will significantly impact your employees individually and as a team.
However, with the right planning in place, it could prove to be an extremely worthwhile investment, so it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons and make a decision that is best for your business.
That’s all for today
We hope you’ve found our blog post insightful.
If you have any comments or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to leave them below. We would love to answer your queries.
1. What will I get from reduced hours or four days per week?
The primary benefit of working fewer days is spending more time with family, friends, hobbies, exercise, or anything else that brings you joy. However, there are also less tangible benefits, such as better health and productivity, because of the increased time for relaxation. It has also been proven that those who work fewer days are happier than those who work more days.
2. Won’t people feel overworked if they have longer hours with shorter days?
It depends on employees, the kind of work or industry, and the level of concentration required. There is never one size fit all policy, so you have to customize a few things as per your specific needs to make any policy work.
3. Which countries have 4-day weeks?
UAE was the first country to implement a 4 day workweek, but many other countries have followed suit. Some include Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, and Japan.
These countries have seen success through their policies, such as improved performance at work and lower unemployment rates, leading companies to accomplish much more in a shorter time.
4. Will implementing the 4 day work week be difficult for businesses?
It will take time for businesses to adjust to a new normal and restructure their operations. Workers need to stay flexible and committed during this transition period.
But once things settle down, workers and employers can reap the benefits of a shorter work week.
5. How do I know if my business should switch to a 4 day week?
If your company can accommodate the switch, it might be worth considering. Take into account what type of business you run, how your employees may react, and whether or not you have any safety concerns about reducing work days before making a decision.
In addition, small businesses are usually able to handle a change easier than larger corporations since they have more room for flexibility and can adapt quickly.
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We will catch you soon.
Until then, keep learning.