Is A 4 Day Work Week The New 9 to 5? The Pros And Cons
For the last decade or even longer, the typical working schedule of 9 to 5 was looking more like 8 to 6. People were working much longer hours than ever before. Surely, this meant that workers were more productive, right?
Actually, no. Productivity has been decreasing because longer hours doesn’t always translate into more work being done. In many cases, it means less.
Now that remote working is more common and people are seeing the effects of a poor work/life balance on health and well being, businesses are starting to offer a less traditional work day.
Enter The 4 Day Work Week.
It has been implemented by many companies since this year has disrupted business practices across the world.
In this article, we will go over whether it is actually worth it so you can decide if this new schedule is going to work for your company.
4 Day Workweek Vs Remote Working
The global pandemic has shined a light on the fact that we don’t need to maintain the status quo when it comes to worker’s schedules. Since so many were forced to work from home, yet maintained their professionalism and continued to be productive, it broke down the barrier of the old guard wanting to keep the 9 to 5.
As long as remote time tracking was done correctly, there were really no issues unless the employee had a more client facing job. And even then it didn’t create too many problems.
Does this mean that remote workers are better than having workers come in for only four days a week and work longer hours? It really depends on the company and type of work that needs to get done.
In some cases, remote work is going to be the better option. Less time spent commuting means more time working. Even in a compressed work week, people still need to commute and those four days can be very long. Yes, they have three days to decompress, but it can be quite tiring and takes longer to recover energy after such long days.
When Does A 4 Day Workweek Make Sense?
If your staff is mainly salaried and are not eligible for overtime pay then a four day work week can work. Even if they are hourly it can, but with one big caveat.
Some states make companies pay overtime to hourly employees if they work more than 8 hours in one day.
Make sure you understand your state’s labor laws before deciding.
If you are torn between having remote teams and a compressed work week, then you have to consider the type of work that is being done. If you need to have lots of work being done with clients present, then you need to have your employees in the office. In this case, it makes sense to have a shortened work week with everybody present and just have longer working days.
Benefits Of A Compressed Work Week
There is a sort of productivity creep to coin a phrase when people work five days per week. What generally happens is that all five days of work end up getting longer and employees log more than forty hours. It’s partly due to the insistence of “face time”. Nobody wants to be the one to leave after exactly eight hours since it may reflect poorly on them. So they stay later. When this happens five days a week it adds up.
When the week is compressed and people know they are going to work longer days, but less of them. The work gets done in forty hours and nobody feels bad about leaving on time since they were already at work for around 10 hours that day.
This Increases Productivity By A Long Shot.
It also helps people achieve a better work life balance which increases worker satisfaction. Then, they are likely to work harder to make sure they can continue enjoying the benefits of the three day weekends.
When your business has many different facets in which some employees need to be in the office and others not, then you can work out a sort of hybrid.
Some employees can be rewarded with a day of working from home in place of coming into the office and either still work four days, or work shortened hours in the office with a day working from home. Find what will work best for certain members of your staff and go from there.