The length of the workweek has long been a subject of debate for many experts around the world. Some say that having a four day work week is good for the overall happiness of the employees and can help businesses assess how they perform. Others argue the contrary and say it is bad for business and the clients.
With the work environment now changing and remote work becoming popular, the argument of having a shorter workweek has reemerged.
If you are considering it for your business, here are the pros and cons of having a 4-day workweek:
1. Lesser Distractions
Some argue that short work weeks can reduce the distractions for your employees. They will get the time they need to finish other responsibilities that affect their focus, such as housework, bills and others.
2. Better Productivity
If you have overworked workers and are discontent with how the business moves, you will notice that their productivity will be significantly affected. Even if you tell them to work longer hours, the productivity levels won’t improve.
With a shorter work time, you will be able to give your workers enough time to recuperate and refocus before they go back to work.
3. Reduced Costs
For businesses and employees trying to save up on expenses, a 4-day work week can be beneficial. The company will be closed for an extra day, saving your business on electricity bills and other operational costs.
Employees will spend less on travel expenses, food and other daily expenses they could save and use for essential bills.
4. Improves Employee Mental And Physical Wellbeing
A shorter workweek is also beneficial for the employees because they will get more time to recover from a busy work week and spend time with their loved ones. In turn, they will come back to work motivated and happy. Their physical health will also be good because they run a lower risk of burnout and exhaustion.
If you have healthy employees, you will have a higher chance of retaining them for the long run.
A short work week can reduce your workers’ and your business’s carbon footprint, which is essential in the fight against climate change.
1. It Can Cost The Business A Lot Of Money
Employers may find it hard to manage a shorter work schedule because people will prefer jobs that will offer higher pay than shorter work hours. Since employers have to keep up with other companies’ offerings to entice workers, it will disable them from hiring a lot of people in the process.
2. Fosters Inequality
The shorter workweek may also widen current inequalities between employees, from those with specialities to manual workers. There will be a disparity between their salaries and the attention offered to them by the business.
3. Not Applicable To All Industries
A 4-day work week will not apply to industries needing to be in operations 24/7, such as hotels, customer service, manufacturing, hospitals, and others. Industries that may reduce their work schedule may also find it hard to adapt to a shorter work time because of the operational changes that have to be made to make it work.
4. It Is An Expensive Risk
As mentioned in the previous point, shifting to a shorter workweek can be a risky move for businesses, especially if the business requires a specific workflow. If they cannot sustain it even for a short period, recovery can be difficult.
5. Hard Coordination
Managing teams through a short workday may not be easy, especially if the business runs round the clock. If the days off are scattered, and they are in different teams, setting up a collective meeting can be tricky.
Employees may also find it hard to call in their day off because they might get called back at any time. Having a 4-day work week can vary in terms of how well it will work for your business goals and market. If the results are favourable, go for it!
If you are considering trying it out, make sure to do your research, seek the opinion of your customers and employees and adjust your operations to maximise productivity, improve work-life balance and improve employee retention and satisfaction.
So what do you think? Should we move on to 4-day work week? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Looking to improve productivity in your workplace? Check out these articles:
8 Steps to Digital Productivity
How to Stay Focused If You Are Assigned to Multiple Projects at Once
When Good is Not Good Enough