What Does the 4-Day Work Week Mean for Businesses?
Revolutionary or over-idealistic? The 4-day work week is a new business model. As the name suggests, employees would operate for 4 days per week. This is instead of the customary 5 days worked per week. The 4-day work week is an idea that has continually re-entered public consciousness. While some say this flexible model will help from burn out and will advance the world of work, others fear a decrease in productivity. However, all of this is still being debated.
Over at The Hill Hub, we host an ecosystem of passionate business owners and entrepreneurs, and we pride ourselves on being able to offer the best tools and knowledge for success. So, let us go over the 4-day work week and ask the important question: is it worth it?
Since Covid-19 struck, there has been a massive shift towards more flexible lifestyles. It is this desire for flexibility that people are opting for hybrid or remote positions. It is also why the coworking industry is booming right now! The push towards implementing the 4-day work week aligns with this shift towards flexibility. Thus, the 4-day work week’s place in contemporary offices is being discussed due to the possible benefits it can yield.
It saves money on office space and utilities. Most businesses spend more money on things like office space and utilities than they realise. By reducing your working hours to four days per week, you can reduce how much space you need as well as how much energy it takes to run that space. The operating costs and environmental costs will decrease for businesses and wider society alike.
It makes employees happier, more engaged, and more productive. When employees have more days off per week, they tend to be more creative, energised, and productive during the days they do work. This can lead directly to higher profits for your company! Happier employees also lead to better customer service and higher productivity overall. With more free time, people will also be able to pursue hobbies, spend time with family, or even sleep for longer.
It helps reduce stress levels for all employees. Stress is a leading cause of illness—and when it comes from work-related stressors (like long hours), that stress can have serious consequences on employee health over time. Shorter workweeks mean less stress on everyone involved—and healthier employees make better workers!
Conversely, there are some things to keep in mind when considering a four-day work week for your own company. For example, it might make sense to have a few employees work on Fridays instead of having everyone take Friday off. That way if there’s an emergency or something comes up that needs urgent attention on Friday, you’ll still have people available to address it.
Another thing to think about is how your schedule will affect client relationships—and whether clients will be willing to come in on Friday afternoon or evening if necessary. You may need to rework your hours so that clients don’t feel like they have limited access due to time zones or scheduling issues with other employees in different time zones.
It is important to mention that there is no singular type of 4-day work week. These are the 2 most common forms of the 4-day work week: the compressed work schedule and the fixed work schedule. The compressed work schedule is when the hours worked on a 5-day schedule are compressed into a 4-day schedule. On the other hand, the fixed work schedule maintains the hours worked on a daily basis and reduces the total number of days worked.
There are also different variants. Some opt to remove Friday as a work day and make it a permanent day off. Some may schedule this day off in the middle of the week. Some allow their employees to select which day of the week to take off.
But, there was once a time where the 6-day work week was standard. During this time, the idea of a 5-day work week was looked down upon. So, when we contemplate the 4-day work week, are we repeating the past or looking forward to the future?