In the 19th century, working five days a week became a norm in the factories. It was the best way to keep employee productivity at the desired rate. People got used to going to work 5 times a week and spend the rest of the week at home taking care of the household and personal lives. But is it time to switch to 4-Day Work Weeks?
Let’s face it, it is the 21st century now, technology and office jobs have revolutionised our everyday routine. Automation sped up the way we work significantly. For example, CRM systems pushed spreadsheets out of the way. This means that longer working hours are no longer equal to higher productivity.
The concept of a four-day working week was already adapted in some countries. Microsoft offices in Japan trialled it and resulted in over 40% higher productivity levels. Similar results were found in Sweden, Iceland, and New Zealand.
What advantages will a potential 4-day week bring to people and businesses?
We can all agree that staying fully focused for a long time is a tough task for most of us. Tiredness and the lack of motivation disconnect co-workers and play a big part in our productivity levels. Working 4 days week employees are more engaged with a lower level of stress and can manage their work-life balance way more efficiently.
A 2019 study made by one of the financial companies in New Zealand proves these findings. Switching 240 employees from a five-day working week to a four-day week while maintaining their pay, they received surprising results. The stress level was down by 10% and work-life balance skyrocketed from 54% to 78%.
Lower Costs and Happier Employees
This new working model also can save a lot of money for all the parties. Having one day less at the office cuts down the rent, bills, and maintenance costs. This is also advantageous for employees as they save money on commuting and additional money spent on lunch.
Constantly having a 3-day weekend will make everyone happy! People have more time to live their own lives and complete their household chores. Usually, we finish our week with big piles of laundry, a messy home, and an empty fridge. When these problems are covered – Monday is already here. High work quality requires quality relaxation. Having more time to enjoy your time and do what you love increases happiness and creates stronger loyalty for the company.
Recruitment and Retention
A four-day working week brings flexibility to the employees’ lives. In this millennial world, this is classed as one of the biggest priorities while looking for work. It helps the worker to stay on top of their tasks and encourages them to stay in the company.
Longer weekends motivate us to finish the task quicker and always keep the engagement levels high.
Although a four-day workweek can bring big advantages and wins, it doesn’t suit every business model. It is important in this situation to evaluate the pros and cons and decide in small steps. But overall, a four-day working week is a proven way to increase employee engagement, productivity and has big financial perks.
Is it something that your business would consider?
Also Read: Why Is Work-Life Balance So Important?