4 Day Workweek … Are You Ready?

4 Day Workweek … Are You Ready?
Over the past 18-24 months, numerous studies have been conducted to consider the possible organisational benefits of a 4 day working week.

Within a recent Forbes article, the results were listed as follows:

16% increase in work flexibility
13% increase in productivity
14% increase in employee happiness

The results also showed that:

94% of employees said a 4 day work week would be a benefit they would enjoy.
28% of full time employees would accept a pay cut in exchange for a 4 day work week.

More broadly there are several potential reasons why a 4-day working week could be beneficial to an organisation:

  1. Improved work-life balance: A 4-day working week can give employees more time to pursue hobbies, spend time with family and friends, or engage in other activities that can improve their overall quality of life. This, in turn, can lead to increased job satisfaction and lower rates of burnout.
  2. Recruitment/retention differentiator: With competition for talent greater than ever and financial packages increasing as a result, organisations are having to think differently about how they attract talent. A shortened working week isn’t available within all organisations and looking back at the original statistics, 28% would accept a pay cut in exchange.
  3. Reduced absenteeism: Employees who are given more time off may be less likely to call in sick or take unplanned days off. This can reduce the impact of absenteeism on the business and increase overall productivity.
  4. Health benefits: Studies have shown that overwork can be detrimental to employees’ mental and physical health. A shorter work week can help reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being.

So what’s stopping organisations from making the change?

  1. Increased costs: A survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management found that businesses that offer flexible work arrangements (including a 4-day workweek) often incur additional costs for things like technology, equipment, and additional staff to cover the extra day off.
  2. Customer service issues: According to a survey conducted by The Conference Board, 25% of consumers say they have experienced difficulties with customer service when trying to contact a business outside of regular business hours.
  3. Scheduling conflicts: Depending on the specific work schedule chosen, a 4-day workweek could potentially lead to scheduling conflicts and decreased collaboration among team members. For example, if one team works Monday-Thursday and another team works Tuesday-Friday, they may have difficulty scheduling meetings and coordinating on projects.

The bottom line …

As more organisations conduct their own research, to differentiate their businesses and make themselves more competitive, the more likely it is that organisations shift to a 4 day workweek. At what point we reach the societal tipping point we cannot know. However, it is for certain that employees will continue to demand that organisation’s consider how they can create the right conditions for their performance and therefore you have an opportunity to be ahead of the game.

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