In the wake of the pandemic, employees around the world have begun to re-evaluate their priorities and values. For many, the traditional 9-5 work week is no longer feasible or desirable. And, to attract and retain top talent, employers need to consider offering more than just annual leave and a monthly paycheck.
Flexibility and work-life balance have become increasingly important to employees. A recent study found that one-third of workers would be willing to take a pay cut of 10% if it meant having a better work-life balance. And, according to LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Survey, 54% of 19,000 workers surveyed expressed that a four-day working week was one of their top workplace priorities. The same survey also found that this trend is especially pronounced among millennials and Gen Z workers, who appear to value and prioritize work-life balance more than previous generations.
No wonder, then, that some of the world’s most innovative and forward-thinking companies are already offering 4-day work weeks to their employees. These include Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook. So, if you’re an employer looking to attract top talent, you might want to consider following suit.
But does a 4-day working week make business sense?
The answer, it turns out, is a resounding yes. In fact, there are numerous studies that show that shorter work weeks can actually lead to enhanced business results.
Businesses that have already implemented 4-day work weeks report that employees who worked four days a week were actually more productive than those who worked five. It has also been found that the employees who worked a 4-day working week felt less stressed, less likely to take sick leave, and were more creative and innovative when they were at work.
Moral and employee engagement:
Shorter work weeks can also lead to increased morale and engagement among employees. Perpetual Guardian, a New Zealand-based company that implemented 4-day work weeks, found that there was a significant improvement in employee engagement after the change. The company found that employees were less likely to leave their jobs and had more time to spend with their families, leading to better work-life balance.
Overhead and business costs:
Shorter work weeks can also lead to reduced overhead and business costs. For example, businesses that switch to 4-day work weeks no longer need to pay for as much office space, electricity, or water. They may also be able to save on other business costs, like cleaning services. All welcome relief as we face a cost-of-living crisis.
Attracting and retaining top talent:
Offering a 4-day work week can also be a great way to attract and retain top talent. In today’s competitive job market, top talent is in high demand and companies are always looking for ways to stand out from the crowd.
A 4-day work week is a great way to do just that. It shows that you are an innovative and forward-thinking company that values its employees’ time and well-being. And, as mentioned before, it is especially attractive to millennials and Gen Z workers, who place a high value on work-life balance.
Not one-size-fits-all with 4-day work weeks
Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to 4-day work weeks. What works for one company may not work for another.
Some companies, like Google and Amazon, have structured their shortened work weeks so that all employees work the same four days. Others, like Microsoft and Facebook, allow employees to choose which four days they want to work.
Some companies offer their employees the option to work 10 hours over 4 days without a cut in pay; while others have opted to keep working hours to 8 hours a day over a 4-day week but cut employee pay by 10% or 20%.
What’s important is that companies tailor their 4-day work week offerings to fit their specific needs and the needs of their talent. After all, the whole point of a 4-day work week is to create a better work-life balance for employees, not to put more stress on them. And it will only be successful if it’s something that employees want and feel comfortable with.
Deciding on the model…
Before you jump on the 4-day working week bandwagon, it is important to do your research and figure out what will work best for your company, employees, and business goals. There is no right or wrong answer, but there are some things you should keep in mind.
Consider the type of business you have and the industry you’re in:
For example, your business may not be able to close your doors one day a week without adversely affecting sales. That’s where you can investigate staggering the additional day off throughout the week.
Think about your talent and what would work best for them:
Do they have young children at home? Do they have long commutes? Are they caretakers for elderly family members? Answering these questions will help you figure out which 4-day work week model will be the most beneficial for them.
Think about your business goals:
Is your goal to save money on overhead costs? Is it to attract and retain top talent? Once you know your goals, you can tailor your 4-day work week model to help you achieve them.
The bottom line is that there is no right or wrong way to implement a 4-day work week. It all depends on your company, your employees, and your business goals. So, do your research and figure out what will work best for you. Then, give it a try and see if it’s a good fit for your company.