Consider a Four Day Workweek
With several companies transitioning their employees from the business office to the home office, due to the restrictions of Covid-19 and 'social distancing', a growing trend for many corporations and businesses has been to introduce the optional 4-day workweek for employees. However, what does a four-day workweek look like, in practice? What are its benefits and potential drawbacks? Can cutting one day out of the traditional workweek really help improve work-life balance and prevent burnout?
Allow us to explain.
Examples of the Four-Day Workweek
It is at the discretion of Companies on how they structure a four-day workweek for their employees. There are several methods in which a business might set up a four-day workweek for their staff.
40 Hour Workweek: Each employee must fulfill a 40-hour week obligation and that it is the employee's choice on which four 10-hour days they decide to work.
32 Hour Workweek: This option is accomplished by having staff work a standard, eight-hour day for four days rather than five.
Choice of Work Days: As an employer, you may vary in your approach to which days of the week employees can schedule their workdays, such as Monday through Thursday, with Friday through Sunday off. Or, you might allow staff a choice in which four days they work. There is flexibility with four-day workweeks and how you structure your staff's time on and off the clock.
Benefits and Drawbacks of a 4-Day Workweek
Quality of Life and Work: Shortening the workweek, either in the business office or the remote home office; employees gain back an additional day to tend to personal matters, appointments, and family obligations.
Possibility of Less stress. While this may not lessen the burden of fulfilling the required work hours of 10-hour days, the four-day workweek may offer the possibility of decreased stress for employees by providing them with a long weekend for relaxing, rest, and the ability to tend to personal matters outside of the work office. Additionally, the flexibility of working four days instead of five can help alleviate employee anxiety.
Improved productivity. Studies show that reducing the workdays from five to four, and in some cases lowering the hours from 40 to 32, lead to greater productivity from the employee. There is a small risk of long, 10-hour days leading to fatigue and mistakes. However, the basic concept behind the four-hour workweek that allows three days for employees to reboot and relax might create refreshed and well-rested employees who are able to accomplish more within the office in their four-day workweek.
Ultimately, the balance of productivity and employee retention and happiness is a delicate one. Perhaps this model of a four-day workweek would benefit your company overall. Discuss the benefits and drawbacks with your accountant on the financial matters to determine if this is a good course of action for you and your company.
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