Is a shift to the four-day workweek good for business?

March 14, 2023

Four-day workweek

If you’re trying to figure out how to run your business and support your employees with a four-day workweek, this post is for you.

Shifting to a four-day workweek is not just about adopting a new schedule; it’s about changing the way you work.

And while this change might not work for every business, it can be extremely beneficial for organizations that operate internationally. In fact, recent studies have found that moving to a four-day workweek increases productivity, reduces costs, and boosts employee morale.

In this post, we’ll cover the most important considerations your business needs to be aware of when shifting to the four-day workweek.  We’ll also talk about the many benefits it can provide for your employees, as well as how it will help them stay productive throughout the week.

Important considerations for a four-day workweek

A growing trend among companies that offer workplace flexibility is to shift their employee’s work schedules from five days a week to four. While a four-day workweek may only be suitable for some businesses, the impact it can have on productivity   is paramount. Specifically for organizations that operate internationally, shifting to a four-day workweek could help to address some of the unique requirements involved with managing a remote and dispersed workforce.

If your company is wants to switch to a four-day workweek, be sure to consider the following:

  • Understanding how customers work - If you're considering the shift to a four-day workweek, you must first think about how it may affect your customers. A thorough analysis of the effects on customer satisfaction and customer service coverage is essential for success.
  • Work hours - It is vital to determine what the expectation of work hours will look like under a four-day workweek. For example, will your employees’ working hours remain at 40 hours per week or should they be reduced to 32 hours? You’ll also need to determine whether there are location-specific laws to comply with before making these changes.
  • Workload - Employers should not increase their employees' workload to compensate for the shorter workweek; maintaining deadlines while not overburdening employees is crucial.
  • Scheduling - When implemented thoughtfully, a four-day workweek can provide a viable option. By cross-training and strategically scheduling, departments can ensure coverage within their respective areas. Businesses must determine how to schedule work and ensure that critical tasks and responsibilities are still covered during the shorter workweek. Provide optimal coverage across each team to ensure effective support for clients and employees.
  • Communication - Effective communication is imperative to ensure that everyone understands the changes involved with the shift to a four-day workweek, what it entails, and how it will impact their daily routines. Develop a thorough communication plan before you announce the change.
  • Cost - While cost savings is a potential benefit of shifting to a four-day workweek, it’s also important to consider any upfront costs required to make the change. You might need to hire more employees, for example, or perhaps you’ll need to upgrade your technology to better support your employees’ new scheduling requirements.
  • Employee feedback - It's important to solicit feedback from employees to ensure the four-day workweek is successful and beneficial for everyone.

Benefits of shifting to a four-day workweek 

A four-day workweek can have several benefits for both employees and employers, including:

  • Improved work-life balance - A shorter workweek provides more free time for employees to spend with their families, pursue hobbies, or take care of personal responsibilities. With a shorter workweek, employees are less likely to experience burnout and can better concentrate better during work hours.
  • Increased job satisfaction - Employees who feel they have a better balance between work and their personal lives are often more satisfied with their jobs and more motivated to perform well, which in turn improves employee morale and retention rates.
  • Higher productivity levels - A four-day workweek can lead to a more focused and productive work environment. With a shorter workweek, employees have less time to get side-tracked and can be more focused on their tasks.
  • Lower stress levels - A shorter workweek can lead to reduced stress levels, which can result in improved mental and physical health, as well as increased job satisfaction.
  • Reduced absenteeism - With better work-life balance and lower stress levels, employees are less likely to take time off due to stress-related illnesses or burnout.
  • Attract and retain talent - A four-day workweek can be a unique selling point that helps attract and retain employees who value work-life balance and a flexible schedule.

When implemented correctly, the transition to a four-day workweek could lead to lower costs and higher productivity levels for the organization. But it’s important to consider how the shift to a four-day workweek will impact both your employees and your customers before you decide whether the shift is right for your business.

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