Over the past months, discussions surrounding the potential adoption of a four day working week have gathered speed. The notion excites several people as we have become more accustomed to appreciating work-life balance. There are several ideas related to how a four day working week can be implemented. One idea is to have the existing standard hours distributed amongst the four days, making them longer. On the other hand, there are those who argue that such a working week should not come with longer days in terms of scheduled hours.
The idea of changing the traditional five day working week may sound revolutionary, however the notion of reducing the number of contracted hours is not new. Back in 1890, a typical working week for a full-time employee within a manufacturing plant consisted of a hundred hours. As things progressed, employees started to work forty hour weeks. With respect to the four day working week, some businesses are already performing trials.
So what are the benefits?
If implemented in the right way, such a working week can have positive impacts on productivity. Employees who are overworked tend to be less productive than those who work normal hours. Research also indicates that not only do employees maintain their productivity levels, they also record improvements in job satisfaction, teamwork, work-life balance and company loyalty.
A shorter professional schedule promotes better work-life balance allowing parents with childcare responsibilities to be part of the workforce. This is because such a working week allows them to spend more time with their families.
The environment also stands to benefit with shorter working weeks. If employees are to transition to four day work weeks, commuting to the office will be reduced together with the fact that business facilities would be used for shorter timeframes. This impacts ecology positively and reduces the carbon footprint.
Although there may be a number of positives related to this shorter working week, there are also disadvantages. One example would be the fact that customers will have lesser timeframes to contact businesses that they require a service from. Adopting a technological approach for when offices are closed, where customers deal with artificial intelligence and chatbots can lead to an experience that is frustrating.
What do you make about the four day work week? Do you think that it should be adopted? Let us know your views in the comments section below.