If Covid-19 and several lockdowns have taught employers anything, it is workforces across the UK have proven remote working and spending less time in the office can offer huge benefits!
Employers have been able to transform the traditional work environment by implementing custom hours of work and allowing employees to choose the days they work. With flexible working now the norm in most organisations, employers are now on the lookout for the next best strategy.
With the shift to remote working and an increase in a new hybrid model, there have been more and more conversations around work-life balance and businesses questioning their ‘typical working week’.
The conventional five-day workweek has become a cultural norm, especially for the UK, but after a year of change and shift in demands & requirements from employers, is it time to rethink this approach and would businesses continue to succeed? Or would productivity take a hit?
Did you know 66% of surveyed workers wanted to work less than five days a week, but only 17% of their employers offered that option? What’s more, 40% of workers would prefer a four-day week compared to a five-day week or an early finish time on a Friday.
Large organisations have been trailing four-day week concepts in recent years gathering data for others to choose whether to switch over.
Increase productivity - Did you know the average U.K. office worker is only productive for two hours and 53 minutes on a normal workday? It’s said workers are more productive when given time to rest and relax adequately. Employees will be less burnt out from long working hours and will be more productive at their jobs.
Improved mental health for employees - Recent research by mental health charity, Mind, has reported that 1 in 6 people report experience a common mental health problem in any given week in England, and 1 in 5 agreed that they’ve had to call in sick to avoid work.
Four-day workweeks allow employees to have more time for personal development and to spend time with loved ones. This will not only increase employees’ happiness but can contribute to fewer burnouts, leaving them to be more focused and happier in their job roles.
Competitive advantage when hiring - Employees are starting to value work-life balance and flexible scheduling more than ever before! Companies can advertise themselves as leaders in that space if they offer complete flexibility. Offering potential new and existing employees a flexible working pattern is a fantastic way of attracting and retaining talented professionals.
Some sectors would find it difficult to implement - Unfortunately, the four-day working week model does not suit every sector. For example, doctors and nurses need to be on call during the week, and giving them a day off can have severe consequences for their employer. Customers expect some stores to stay open five days a week as well, making it hard to switch team schedules.
Complex to implement - Large organisations may find it to implement if they’ve got multiple teams in different locations to arrange. Schedules would have to be changed, policies adjusted, and workers briefed about the change. This adjusts the way all aspects of your business function, so it can take time to roll it out.
Shortened deadlines - Some businesses may operate with quick turnarounds and short deadlines, implementing a four-day week would mean these dates are reduced and workers will have fewer days to complete projects. This can put increased pressure on employees to get things done when they have less time.
If you’re thinking about switching to a four-day workweek to increase your productivity levels and want your employees to work less, a four-day workweek could be for you.
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