4 days work week the pros and cons of a new normal working culture
Working smarter rather than harder has become the norm in today’s constantly shifting economy, that much is certain. This new normal is influenced by new cultures like working from home, in an open office, or starting a business for digital nomads. There are countless opportunities for people to discover what works best for them as a result of technology’s ability to make work more efficient.
With so many options, it is up to each individual to decide which setup they feel most comfortable with and how productive they can be in. The four-day work week is one experiment worth mentioning, where employees are required to work four days instead of five and 12 hours per day instead of nine, making them satisfied with the fact that they have three days off per week while maintaining the same productivity.
The rise of automation and data analytics, as well as businesses’ desire to give their employees more free time outside of work hours, have all contributed to the 4 day work week’s popularity. This trend benefits both businesses and employees by promoting a healthier lifestyle.
Teksavvy, Panasonic, and Google are just a few of the successful start-ups that only work four days per week, setting new benchmarks for maintaining work-life balance while achieving greater productivity and expansion.
But as we all know, everything that has advantages also has drawbacks. The four-day workweek presents challenges and risks that, if improperly managed, could harm the business.
We will learn about four days of work per week in this blog, along with some benefits and drawbacks of this new schedule. We will also be able to help you make the most of this working culture by understanding how to make it work for you.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
The 4-Day Workweek: What Is It?
A 4-day work week is an experiment in which workers work four days, but for longer shifts each day—12 hours total—which adds up to the typical 48 hours of work time. Employees in this work environment are compensated for their four shifts, regular working hours (Monday through Thursday), and three weekly days off (Friday to Sunday).
Due to its capacity to boost productivity while lowering stress levels and enabling workers to have better work-life balance, the 4-day workweek culture is quickly gaining traction in major cities like London, Canada, and the United States.
3 Advantages of a 4-Day Workweek
Many businesses are moving away from the 9 to 5 schedule in favour of a 4 day work week and other compressed schedules, and the changes appear to be good for the employees. People who have more time off from work tend to be happier at their jobs, and employees at these companies also tend to be more productive than those who work longer weeks, so a shorter work week can help increase employee productivity. Here are three benefits of a four-day workweek that will convince you to switch to this schedule.
1) Contented and Joyful Employees
According to studies, employees who work a four-day workweek are less likely to quit their jobs, which reduces costs and fosters loyalty. In addition, they feel more productive the rest of the week, are happier in their jobs, and maintain a healthy lifestyle, which enables them to perform better than if they worked five days a week. This is because they get three days off during the week and are therefore less stressed.
Additionally, contented workers often produce better work and contribute more creative ideas that aid businesses in expanding and becoming more competitive.
2) Increased Productivity
Look no further than implementing a four-day workweek schedule if your company is having trouble remaining competitive or achieving business objectives like cost reduction and profit growth.
Since they have an extra day off during the week to recharge and take care of any personal tasks like errands or housework that need attention, workers on this type of arrangement are typically more motivated and tend to get more done. The fewer workdays result in higher productivity, allowing them to deliver results of the highest calibre and finish projects more quickly than before.
3) Greater Work-Life Harmony
By giving employees three days off during the week to relax and spend time on their hobbies, spend time with family, do household chores, read books, or just go out for coffee, a four-day workweek helps employees maintain a better balance between work and life. This helps them to recharge and live a healthier lifestyle, which ultimately results in higher productivity when they return to work on Monday morning.
Additionally, a better work-life balance improves employee morale and reduces burnout, which results in more engaged staff members and lower turnover rates.
3 Drawbacks to a 4-Day Workweek
The four-day workweek is supported by the argument that it gives employees more time to engage in hobbies, spend time with friends and family, and even engage in regular exercise—all of which can be beneficial.
However, working only four days a week has some drawbacks as well. Before you jump, weigh the advantages of having an extra day off each week against these three drawbacks of working a 4-day workweek.
1) Compared to usual hours, you find yourself working more hours.
Most people typically work Monday through Friday, so if you only have 4 days to complete your task, you will need to put in an extra 2 hours per day on average.
These additional hours and efforts have the potential to increase stress levels and the likelihood of burnout, which can have a negative impact on employees’ performance at work and the standard of their work, which lowers overall productivity.
2) Not everyone can manage four-day workweeks
Companies must first evaluate whether or not they employ a diverse workforce or provide flexible work arrangements in order to understand the true cost of moving to a 4 day work week. For instance, it can be challenging to choose a four-day workweek when many jobs require extended periods of uninterrupted concentration without any breaks or interruptions.
Due to the potential for low productivity for those who hold more demanding jobs or who must maintain their attention for the duration of a shift in order to complete their tasks, this working culture is not appropriate for everyone.
3) A harder time establishing routines
How challenging it would be to maintain some semblance of routine when life moves faster than ever before is one of the main criticisms of a four-day work week.
By lengthening the typical workday, one is forced to stay up later to complete the tasks that need to be done for the day. This may result in erratic routines and sleep patterns, which are harmful to general health and wellness and may result in a number of health problems and reduced overall effectiveness and performance.
Managing Your 4-Day Workweek: 3 Tips
Here are some suggestions to help you manage your new schedule if you decide to switch to a four-day work week.
1) Establish deadlines
Setting deadlines for tasks and projects as well as blocking off time for relaxation are crucial if you want your team to complete them on time and feel balanced.
Employers can track the amount of time their employees spend on each task using time tracking software like Workstatus, Hubstaff, and Timedoctor to make sure they’re finishing projects on time and producing as much as possible.
2) Using priorities
The employee’s workload does not change when switching to a 4-day workweek, nor should it. Prioritizing and deciding which tasks can wait until tomorrow and which need to be completed immediately become more important as there is less time available.
Achieving maximum output during condensed workdays also requires setting specific goals and breaking them down into smaller objectives. In this manner, workers can still complete everything they need to during the week and feel successful after giving it their all.
3) By Setting Up Routines
Employers who implement a four-day workweek must be aware that it may take some time for staff members to adjust and settle in. Managers should give their staff plenty of opportunities to adjust and transition gradually in order to prevent disruptions to their daily schedules and sleeping patterns.
For instance, the business could begin by gradually implementing a 4-day workweek over a period of weeks before establishing this type of work culture as the norm. In order to maintain productivity over time, employees must also understand that they must still complete everything they typically do in shorter workdays. For this reason, developing good habits early on is essential.
The four-day workweek has become commonplace. You must decide as a business whether you want to be at the forefront of this change or run the risk of falling behind. The transition to a four-day workweek has many advantages and disadvantages, which you should carefully weigh before making the change because it will have a big impact on both the individuals and the teamwork of your employees.
It’s up to you to weigh the benefits and drawbacks and choose the course of action that is best for your company given that, with the proper planning, it might turn out to be a very worthwhile investment.
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