The COVID-19 pandemic fast-tracked several industry and employment trends, ranging from the advent of remote work to a results-oriented approach that emphasizes deadlines and results as opposed to hours spent on a project. And despite the ongoing challenges and hardships of the pandemic, industry leaders have been able to learn from the pandemic and implement these changes to their employment strategies.
One of the most talked about trends that many companies have implemented or are considering is the 4-day work week. It’s not often that anyone spends 40 hours a week on a single task, goal, or project, and the appeal of the 30 hour work week is becoming more and more apparent to industry leaders.
What companies are noticing about a lower hourly workload is, to no one’s surprise, that employees are happier and more engaged. What some might be surprised to find is that employees are also more productive and that projects/deadlines aren’t suffering as a result of the lower workload.
Below we’ll get into why so many organizations are considering a 4-day work week and how the 40-day work week can become an asset to your employees and your organization.
The rise of the 4-day work week
Even prior to the pandemic, we were seeing companies all over the world begin to implement a 4-day work week. According to the Society for Human Resources Management, 23% of organizations were operating on a 4-day work week in 2019.
Most 4-day work weeks function in one of two ways: either they operate under a flexible 4-day schedule, where employees can decide which day of the work week they wish to take off, or they’re on a hard 4-day work week, where the entire organization is completely closed for 72 consecutive hours from Friday through Sunday.
And while it might seem like a lot of these organizations might be suffering on the efficiency or productivity spectrum, the numbers are telling us otherwise. 60% of organizations expressed a bump in productivity and employee satisfaction after implementing a 4-day work week.
It’s also important to note that the benefits companies are seeing from 4-day work weeks don’t involve compressing the same amount of hours into less days. For example, companies aren’t simply working their employees on 10-hour days from Monday to Friday; they’re actually lowering the amount of hours they’re employees are expected to work and are focused on results and deadlines as the measure of their efficacy.
This does a lot for employees - it gives them autonomy, flexibility, trust, a sense of confidence to manage their own workload, and more time to recharge from the stressors of a busy work week.
Below we’ll get into all the different benefits of 4-day work weeks and how it can revitalize your organization today.
Benefits of a 4-day work week
The benefits of a 4-day work week, some of which we’ve already mentioned above, are plentiful, and companies are finding improvements in a number of metrics, such as employee satisfaction, retention rates, employee morale, productivity, and more.
Some of the benefits of a 4-day work week might include:
- Happier employees - A Perpetual Guardian study showed as much as a 45% decrease in employee stress levels after their company implemented a 4-day work week. The study showed significant gains in job satisfaction, company loyalty, team work, and work-life balance, among other measures.
- Equality in the workplace - A gender pay gap study showed a sizable percentage of the workforce in Britain is currently unemployed due to child care needs, 89% of which are women. More flexible work weeks would lead to partners being able to have more time and more room to care for their children, which would help them juggle their work-life balance with a bit more ease and grace.
- Raise in productivity - When hospitals and clinics in Sweden moved to 6-hour work days, they saw less sick days and a 85% boost in productivity among their nurses.
- Better talent pool - A 4-day work week, 30 hour work week, or even 3 day work week is sure to catch the eye of applicants perusing job openings, and it very well could be the thing that nudges high-quality candidates into your corner.
- Environmental benefits - Shorter work weeks lead to less employees needing to commute and limits the carbon footprint of keeping a large office running for 24 hours. While one day might not seem like a lot, it can have a big impact if companies across the country are implementing these changes simultaneously. Environmental benefits can also contribute to your company values and your branding strategy.
While there are a lot of benefits to a 4-day work week, how you integrate and implement the new schedule is going to be equally as important as making the decision to shorten your work week.
Companies should reach out to their employees to find the best structure and schedule that works for them and their needs. What you learn from your employees, coupled with your own unique needs as a business, will be a good starting point for putting together a strategy to implement a 4-day work week.
Grokker can keep your employees engaged and motivated at work and at home
Even with shorter work weeks, employees need ways to stay engaged and improve their quality of life on their days off. That’s why Grokker created a comprehensive, all-in-one wellbeing solution that employees can access anytime, anywhere.
Grokker fosters community, employee engagement, hyper-personalization, and motivation through a tested wellbeing platform that allows employees to take control of their wellbeing.
Give your employees the tools they need to stay happy, healthy, and ready to succeed in their careers with Grokker today.