Producing more by working less? Don’t shut down the idea right away.
I’m sure you’ve heard the news – but it looks like more and more companies around the world are switching to a 4 day work week! Kind of a weird concept right? Companies gaining more efficiency and productivity by letting their employees work less? Before you shoot down the idea right away, let’s take a look at some of the benefits that come with switching to a 4 day work week – and why that doesn’t always mean your employees are actually working less.
Why would companies implement a 4 day work week?
Thanks to the pandemic and a global shutdown – many people have been feeling extreme levels of burnout recently. Especially in the workplace, if the right steps aren’t taken to avoid it – employee burnout can be a very scary thing. However, with a global pandemic comes new and innovative ways of doing business. With the age of digital evolution in the workplace and remote work – many companies are realizing that the old ways of doing things just don’t work anymore. Some companies have fully shifted to remote work, while others have opted for a 4 day work week.
For example, managers at Shake Shack cited the benefits of their newly implemented 10 hours, 4 day work week by not having to pay for child care for the extra day. Even for data and software engineering company Elephant Ventures – who also tried out 10 hours, 4 days a week workdays and also went fully remote – the feedback was extremely well received by employees and the company.
Most employees start their day at 7:00 AM and end at 6:00 PM. While it did take three to four weeks to adjust to the new schedule, employees praised the new change for allowing them to have more breathing room and plan for bigger events on long weekends. Longer workdays have also improved efficiency since projects aren’t dragged out over multiple days. “The time to get things done was shorter, projects move faster, you don’t have to put it down and pick back up,” founder and CEO Art Shectman says.
There are even benefits for the hiring process of the companies themselves. “[Shorter work weeks] absolutely help us win the recruiting battles that you engage in to win top talent and absolutely is a retention benefit,” said Shectman. “Once you are adjusted to it, it’s hard to go to another schedule.” They also refrain from having meetings in the early mornings and early afternoons to avoid potential lunchtime hours as well as letting employees breathe and jump into work rather than call as soon as they wake up.
Keep in mind that 10 hour days don’t work well with all employees, even if it does mean fewer workdays. This can be more tiring for some employees or simply doesn’t work with their schedule – that’s something to keep in mind when ensuring to communicate this potential change to your entire company.
However, most employees love a 4 day work week and so do employers. Several benefits come with that extra day off, while still maintaining high-performance levels at the company. As HR continues to transform, so does the workplace – implementing a 4 day work week may be just what you need to get your HR ready for a transformation!
The Benefits a 4 Day Work Week Has on Employees
When it comes down to it – the happier your employees are the greater the outcome is for the productivity of your company. When employees feel looked after by their company as well as trust that they can do the work assigned to them without needing to be closely managed. The results speak for themselves. Even when Microsoft Japan switched to a 4 day work week, their productivity skyrocketed a whopping 40%! Most companies probably wouldn’t complain about a jump that great.
Even The Society for Human Resource Management reports that 60% of organizations that utilize a four-day workweek also experienced higher productivity and increased employee satisfaction. These numbers are seriously no joke. That’s only one of the many other examples against the myth that shorter workweeks lead to a decrease in productivity – when in fact it’s vastly the opposite. There is a huge impact on the work-life balance of employees once switching to a 4 day work week as they become more engaged and more efficiently use company time and resources after having more days of rest.
Fewer hours at a desk or sitting behind a computer each day benefits employees who may have chronic illness or disabilities, employees taking care of young children, and caregivers of elderly parents. There are marginalized groups of people who otherwise never would have been thought of before who would greatly benefit from a change to a 4 day work week.
Are you looking into informing your employees about potential flexibility in their work schedule or the benefits that come from it but don’t feel like sending an email every time you come up with a new reason why? Look into creating a section just for this in your company’s very own employee handbook! With AirMason, we have a talented team that offers a variety of skills suited to making the handbook of your dreams.
Confused about how to explain the aspects of your new fully remote company or shorter work week and all of the policies that come with it? Look no further, with our team of skilled copywriters and designers we work with you to create the perfect set of policies that are also beautifully crafted in your custom-made handbook.
A 4 Day Work Week is Not a One-Size-Fits-All Solution
Only you can know what works best for your company. Just because you hear of plenty of examples of a 4 day work week working for other companies doesn’t mean that that’s what works for you. However, that doesn’t mean you should shut down the possibility right away just because you’re worried about taking a risk. Great things come from those who take big risks. That also goes to say that you don’t need to go all-in – plenty of companies test their foot in the water by doing 4 day work weeks just in the summer or for a temporary period.
It’s absolutely essential that to implement a large-scale company change like this you must communicate with your employees. There has to be mutual respect in the way that you ask your employees what works for them – that’s the only way to find out what will benefit your company the most.
Even if that means doing a company-wide survey asking how employees feel about the change or even a temporary shift – you have to be prepared to accept feedback when considering a change of this scale. This may not work for many of your employees as it may be too big of a change in their schedule. On the other end – they may love the fact that you’ve considered their rest and mental well-being. Either way, you never know until you try.
Consider making life easier for your employees today
It may be hard to even imagine making such a great shift in your organization – but you have plenty of examples to look to if you need inspiration. Ultimately, anything that leads to the potential growth and success of your company to new heights you haven’t before thought possible is something worth trying. The numbers don’t lie. If it proves itself to work out in the end you’ll only be shocked at yourself for wondering why you didn’t try it sooner.
Another great way to make life easier for your employees and yourself is by looking into creating a custom-made employee handbook! Here at AirMason, we’ll work night and day to ensure that your employees benefit as much as possible from a gorgeously crafted, policy-filled handbook. One that displays employee experience, company culture, and company regulations – there’s no end to the number of possibilities an employee handbook will bring to help everyone involved. Book a free demo with our sales staff today to see how and why AirMason is the most trusted employee handbook software in the world!