4-day Working Week-Is It Justified?

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The term “9 to 5” is rooted in how we think of the workweek. 9 to 5 itself is another way to say, “day job,” i.e., to work forty hours over five days every week. But that might not always be the case, as there is always room for innovation.

The 4-day workweek idea sounds glorious and compelling. This new trend is taking the business world to the next level.

If a company offers you a three-day weekend, what would you do? Simple, dance, ahh…jokes apart. You might spend some glorious time with family and friends, learn to do some culinary experiments, catch up on a few interesting projects or hobbies, or just relax and finish the favorite series on Netflix or Hotstar.

It seems that the forthcoming years gonna offer employees achieve their dreams on weekends.

What is a 4-day working week?

The concept is just what it sounds like. In the simpler form, we can say that it is a process in which an employee is offered a three-day holiday per week. It is also referred to as a compressed work schedule. However, the implementation of the concept varies from organization to organization. For instance, companies that apply the 4-day workweek expect employees to work for 10 hours a day instead of 8 hours. Whereas, some employers, with this concept, allow employees to work for 8 hours a day or offer the opportunity to work part-time. So, we can safely say that these HR solutions are unique to each company.

The author of ‘The 4 Day Week,’ Andrew Barnes said, “it’s not just having a day off a week – it’s about delivering products, and meeting customer service standards, achieving personal and team business goals and objectives.” The four-day week lets one balance work-life, enhance job satisfaction, and takes care of one’s mental health.

The drumbeat for a four-day workweek is getting flashier….

The idea of the four-day working week has become increasingly popular amid top-notch companies. Thus, companies such as Basecamp and Shake Shack are testing the results for a four-day workweek, and others are following the same.

One of the good examples is a case study for the advantages of a 4-day workweek undertaken by Microsoft Japan in the summer of 2019. Microsoft Japan tried this new experiment in its organization—by giving a normal five-day paycheck, for a four-day workweek, and three-day weekend—and was totally shocked by its positive result. Its productivity rose by about 40%, and electricity costs fell by about 23%. Isn’t it amazing?

So let’s say that new experiments are playing their magic in businesses to gain more profit. Therefore, isn’t it the right time for non-profit organizations, government agencies, and others to let their workers do their jobs four days a week instead of five?

Let’s find out some pros and cons of working four days a week.

Pros:

  • Hike in productivity level – for instance, after the application of a four-day working week in New Zealand, a paper published by Perpetual Guardian firm discovered that about 78% of employees comfortably balanced work and home life. Thus, it generated a high revenue. The industries in New Zealand that adapted the four-day workweek system includes Lumino the Dentists, Drake Medox, Lululemon Athletica, and Mainmark Ground Engineering.

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, recently encouraged businesses to adopt a four-day workweek policy. She said this would help boost employee efficiency and give New Zealanders more leisure time. Thus, boosting domestic tourism as New Zealand reopens after the lockdown.

  • Cost-saving – it is one of the major advantages as an office is shut for one extra day. Thus, employees would save costs on lunches, commuting, and coffees. Even organizations can save money by using fewer resources when personnel spends fewer hours at the workplace.
  • Fewer health issues – longer weekend helps employees to spend time with family and friends, thus helping them to unwind their anxieties.
  • Happy employees – satisfied workers in pleasant mode are always motivated and give their best shot for the company. So, we can say that it’s a win-win situation.

Cons:

  • Prolonged work hours – as five days’ work needs to be completed in four days.
  • Not friendly with every business model – mostly adapted by start-ups to save money.

In 2019, an employee benefits survey was carried out by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). About 2,763 HR specialists were a part of the survey. Following are the points covered in the survey:

  • 4-day workweeks of 32 hours or less – about 15% of the US employers offer a part-time opportunity to the employees. So, it gets easy for personnel to invest time in work they love.
  • 4-day workweek of a full 40 hours – this new trend is adopted by the US, and approximately 32% of the US companies offer a four-day working week to their employees.

Now we can say it’s time for the business revolution. One of the best examples of this revolution is the game-changing crusade driven by the New Zealand brand Perpetual Guardian giving them international recognition. What started as an internal discussion has ended up being a regular topic in the New Zealand Herald, New York Times, Daily Mail, BBC, TVNZ, CNBC, and other media across APAC (Asia Pacific region). The firm is helping staff and team members to become cheerier and more fruitful.

However, a survey by LinkedIn – “Global Talent Trends 2020,” states, “As we enter the 2020s, empathy will reshape the way employers hire and retain talent.”

Will a 4-day workweek be a good idea for your business?

This can be seen in the coming days. But start-ups must keep an open mind, as the concept of a three-day holiday might be the solution to the changing 21st-century work habits. Thus, concentrating on employee health can benefit an organization by generating high revenue per year.

Basecamp’s customer support team lead, Chase Clemons, said, “it’s not about working faster, but rather working smarter.”

A final justification

A four-day working week is nothing but a tool used by organizations to boost overall company revenue and achieve employee goals.

Just imagine what would be the case for an employee indulging in a four-day workweek – “Thank god, its Thursday.”

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