A 4-days working week is in buzz recently. Leading to its direct influence on work productivity and employee satisfaction, many companies globally are considering it as a valid option. But is switching to 4-days a week working environment wise? The answer remains the same for both employees and employers, that is, yes.
4-Days Working Week: Decreased Work Hours, Increased Productivity
While many are debating upon the effectiveness of switching to 4-days a week work culture, it inevitably influences the work productivity and working hours also. As all countries have their norms on work policies and different average working hours, this idea might not fit in the structure for all.
However, as the 4th industrial revolution is just above the corner, the 4-day working week is getting popular among a specific set of industries where workers can find much relief through it. Updating business hours to 4-days a week heavily depends upon the choice of employer and the ability of employees to remain productive even during decreased work hours.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Shifting Working Hours to 4-Days a Week
Standard full-time working hours for Americans is 8 hours per day and five days a week. But when converted to 4 days a week, the total working hours (that is, 40 hours a week) get divided among four days, meaning the worker will work for 10 hours a day and four days a week. This has its advantages and disadvantages that impact different aspects of employees and employers.
Advantages of 4-Days Work Week
The benefits offered by 4-days work week mainly include increased productivity, work engagement, and more.
Work Productivity and Employee Engagement
A firm from New Zealand experimented with the four days work week and achieved surprising results. Moreover, the firm believes in making this change permanent if the results obtained were to remain the same. The firm asked researchers to manage and monitor the changes this brought for them, and it ultimately turned out to be beneficial for both employees and employers too.
It turns out the employee productivity increased by 24%, and they admitted getting more engaged in their work environment than before. What more could an employer ask for? The decision to keep their work hours updated to this time only showed an increase in profits as employees were more engaged and encouraged to complete their work.
Reduced Workplace Stress
As employees get one more day off from their routine work schedule, the decrease in stress is noticed as they are motivated to complete their tasks with 3-days off. As they get to rest more than before, their work productivity also increases. Getting new ideas and enough motivation to perform their best works in favor of employers.
Moreover, workplace stress reduces as it becomes easier to meet deadlines with their improved productivity. This helps keep employees healthy and fit to complete any task at hand.
Equal Employee Engagement
Research suggests that most of the female employees tend to engage less than males as they have various responsibilities on their shoulders. But four days’ work week gives them enough time and space to keep their work in check while easily completing their regular tasks at hand in those three days. e.g., childcare. Therefore, it promotes a workplace where males and females are equally engaged, and employers reap the benefits.
As an entire office is closed for three days a week, this significantly reduces electricity usage. Moreover, as the employees stay at home for three full days, there are fewer cars on the road. As employees can choose to hail a taxi through an uber clone, and it helps in conserving fuels. This ultimately results in a smaller carbon footprint of a company.
An experiment by the US state of Utah implemented the same in government organizations which produced great results. Imagine if this change is implemented worldwide, how the effects of pollution and environmental damage get reduced.
A work week of 4 days seems a great choice, right? But wait! There are disadvantages to this also.
Disadvantages of 4-Days Work Week
Before switching to 4-days work week right away, it is essential to know what possible negative impacts it can have over a firm.
It is essential to clear your primary goal of switching to 4-days work week among your employees. Otherwise, the chances of disputes are high. In firms where this concept was implemented, many employees confused it with fewer working hours, and their work productivity decreased to a great extent instead of increasing.
And this caused problems between employers and employees that resulted in work-life imbalance as the employees had to struggle more to complete targets in given working hours. Without mentioning your goal behind implementing this system can turn hazardous for the company.
As 4-days a week approach is not so popular, and hence, not many businesses consider implementing it in their systems. And this creates issues. As the clients are not habituated with a 4-days working week routine, they find it challenging to approach the firms when they need their help or expertise.
A Utah study researched the effect of 4-days a week approach implemented in government agencies. And it turned out that people were complaining unavailability of government services on Fridays that led them to cancel the implemented system and go back to the normal one.
Difficult to Adapt
If a business upgrades the working days to 4-days a week, it turns out stressful for employees in the beginning. Instead of working 8 hours a day, their working hours are increased, which resulted in stretching out of their limits. The study done on Swedish nurses also claimed the same.
Implementing the 4-days a week culture for them turned out beneficial but also required the care center to add more technical support, resources, and improvement in workplace culture. This created an excessive load on the employers, and the system was not much of a success.
Should You Implement 4-Days a Week Culture?
This decision entirely depends on the employees and employers. If employees are ready to work 4-days a week with extended hours, and employers are also prepared to upgrade to newer resources and technical support, the implementation can turn out beneficial for both. However, depending on the size of a business and its expenditure limits, it may get delayed.
However, the future is predicting a positive impact of 4-days a week culture. As Nixon predicted in 1956, 4-days work week culture is not so far, and the continuous evolution of technology is supporting his direction via the advanced implementation of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in business operations.
Deep is an aspiring entrepreneur and blogger having led 75+ startups on the right path with their information-admiring content. He crafts content on topics including on-demand services like uber clone, finances, technology trends and many more.