In North America, the typical work week is Monday-Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. When you work 40 hours a week, finding time to complete other activities and undertake additional responsibilities can feel next to impossible. The amount of work that we are expected to finish in a 5-day work week can create stress and exhaustion, leaving just about every employee hungry for the weekend.
So, what about the 4 day work week? Is it time for your company to consider adopting this uncommon practice? It’s not unheard of; in fact, European countries including Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Norway have all tried the 4-day work week. The problem is that many societies are designed to provide consumers with open business from Monday to Friday, and certain business owners cannot afford to miss out on revenue or new customers. However, if your company is able to offer employees a 4-day work week, you may experience some unforeseen benefits. Here are a few reasons to consider the 4-day work week:
The 5-day work week may eventually take a toll on your employees’ ability to produce at a high level. Working for 5 straight days can be very taxing on energy levels and creative mindsets. For some, the work never seems to slow down and they always feel like they’re playing catch-up.
On a typical 2-day weekend, your employees will not have enough time to catch up on sleep or enjoy any leisurely activities. 3-day weekends are long enough for your employees to take a mini-vacation and focus on their own creative projects and personal lives. With a 3-day weekend, they’ll have time to spend with their families and time to recharge. When they arrive back at work the following week, they should be motivated to work, with increased energy levels, and a focused interest in the work they’ve been tasked with.
Improved Time Management
Many employers do not allow their employees to work 4 days a week because they believe it will impact workflow. In most workplaces, large and intricate projects take longer than 8 hours to complete, and unfortunately, distractions can impact production.
With a 4 day week, your employees have more time to complete their tasks in a single day. A four day work week may prevent distractions and time-wasters from becoming an issue. Individuals browsing their phones or engaging in conversation with fellow coworkers at the end of the day is common in most workplaces, as they are essentially running out the clock until they get to go home. With an extra day off, your employees should feel more inspired to ignore distractions and place all of their concentration on the task at hand.
Improved Employee Satisfaction
As previously mentioned, the four day work week can do wonders in terms of employee satisfaction. Every employee wants to know that their bosses are supporting them, and the 4 day work week can help an employer gain the trust and admiration of their employees. The mental health of your employees is paramount to your success as a company, and whether or not they vocalize their feelings to you, working a full-time job can be both physically and mentally draining. Providing them with a 4 day work week can reinforce supportive intentions that you have for your employees, allowing them to take an extra day off for fun, relaxation, or self-care.
The rarity of landing a job that is only 4 days out of the week is also enticing, which can make your company a very attractive place to work. The extra day off is ideal for parents with young kids at home because they have an extra full day to spend with their children.
Turnover is very costly to employers; the loss of insider experience, the recruitment process, the interview stages, and training costs are pricey expenditures. However, offering your employees a 4-day work week may increase their enjoyment for work. Workers may overlook the imperfections with the job and instead focus on how lucky they are to be in the position they are in.
Improved Environmental Consciousness
Being environmentally conscientious is just as important to the consumer as it is to the entire planet! As a business owner, you will undoubtedly create a carbon footprint; your employees will be driving to work in their gas-powered vehicles, you will accumulate garbage, and you will be using electricity to power your entire facility. The 4-day work week will reduce the number of car rides you and your employees will have to make. It will also reduce the amount of electricity used to power your workplace and the amount of garbage that is produced from lunch and general workplace situations. If your business prides itself on being a positive role model in the community, taking active steps to reduce your carbon footprint is a great way to endear yourself with consumers.
So, Should You Try a 4-Day Week?
It is difficult to be sure of anything in business; the only way to know if things are going to work out is through trial and error. If your one of your employees has inquired about the possibility of granting them a 4-day work week, perhaps you could let them try it for a week or two to see how it goes. By monitoring their production, time management and their overall satisfaction, your company could be set up for this type of schedule.
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