Four-day workweek

2022-07-28 by EPR Staff

A lot of studies have been done on working four days a week, some companies have already started implementing it. Everyone loves a 3-day weekend, long weekends are always a cause for excitement. A lot of questions arise about the four-day workweek. If this was made the norm, would a business soar? Would this impact productivity negatively? Most arguments seem to be in the favor of a four-day workweek. The advancement of technology has affected the five-day workweek. Longer hours do not necessarily mean more productivity. 

Trials

According to a study done at Microsoft in Japan, a four-day workweek led to an increased employee morale, although productivity stayed the same. Iceland also tested a four-day workweek and the employees were happier. Lux, an Edinburgh-based marketing agency, tried it in January 2020. Since then, the agency’s profits have risen by 30% and productivity has increased by 24%. The employees were working fewer hours, but they were focusing on outputs and as a result, the company was making more profit. The trials have mostly met with success. 

Rethinking what employees need

Employees these days are eager for flexibility and that makes a four-day workweek seem like a competitive advantage. Some companies have created a four-day workweek model which is based on hours and not days. Justin Mitchell, the founder of Yac, an asynchronous meetings platform, wants his team to work 32 hours a week and they can distribute the hours in any way they want to. Each person has a different working style and with a mosel like this,  team members can maximize themselves. Another way of making this model effective is to reduce the layer of management so that there are less people to report to. This also leads to a calm communication environment. Measuring output and not input is important.

A good use of time

Initially, there were legal concerns, where, if employees had employment contracts for four-day workweeks they might not be considered full-time employees. Employers who have implemented the model are trying to make it more systematic. People might be asked to work on a Friday if there is a deadline. There can be days when everybody would be present and there can also be days which people can select as their day off. Dropping a day will involve making adjustments. The adjustments would depend on the stress levels and the productivity of the employees. 

The model is restorative

This model has made a lot of difference because employees feel that they have an entire day to do chores and they can enjoy the rest of the weekend. This model is also being seen as a retention strategy. Some employees use the day off and work on projects that they are passionate about, such as writing a book, learning a new language, or pottery classes. This has made many people wary about joining a place with a five-day workweek. Yet another argument for this model is the environmental benefit. It slashes carbon footprints with a large number of cars being off the roads.