Four Day Working Week

Four Day Working Week

Since Covid, many people have prioritised their personal family life over work.  During this period, it gave us the opportunity to focus more on our lives which allowed us to figure out what works best for us. Many organisations have become more flexible with the working hours and some have dropped down to four days a work rather than the standard five days working week.

The idea behind a four-day workweek is to condense the standard 40-hour workweek into four days instead of five, without reducing employees’ pay. Proponents argue that a shorter workweek can lead to increased employee well-being, productivity, and work-life balance.

Several UK companies and organisations around the world have experimented with shorter workweeks. For example, in 2019, the Wellcome Trust, a major biomedical research charity, conducted a year-long trial offering its employees the opportunity to work four days a week while maintaining their full-time salaries. The trial aimed to assess the impact of reduced working hours on productivity and employee well-being.

Similarly, in August 2021, the Scottish government announced a £10 million fund to support trials of a four-day workweek in public sector organisations. The goal was to evaluate the feasibility and potential benefits of shorter workweeks in terms of employee well-being, productivity, and work-life balance.

Microsoft in Japan tested the four-day week and found that productivity increased by 40%.Four Day Working Week

Working a four-day week can have several benefits for both employees and employers. Here are some of the potential advantages:

    1. Improved work-life balance: A shorter workweek allows employees to have more time for personal activities, hobbies, family, and leisure. It can reduce stress levels and increase overall job satisfaction.
    2. Increased productivity: With a compressed work schedule, employees often become more focused and motivated during their working hours. Knowing they have an extra day off, they may work more efficiently to complete their tasks. This can lead lead to higher productivity levels.
    3. Enhanced job satisfaction and morale: Offering a four-day workweek can boost employee morale and job satisfaction. As it demonstrates that employers value work-life balance and employee well-being. This, in turn, can lead to higher employee retention rates and attract talented individuals to the company.
    4. Reduced absences: By providing employees with an extended weekend, a four-day workweek can help reduce absenses. Employees may be less likely to take unscheduled time off or call in sick since they have a sufficient amount of rest and recovery time.
    5. Increased recruitment and retention: Offering a four-day workweek can be an attractive perk for potential candidates and can make them stand out from its competitors. It can also help with employee retention, as people may be more inclined to stay with a company that provides a better work-life balance.
    6. Environmental benefits: Fewer workdays can result in reduced commuting, leading to less traffic congestion and a decrease in carbon emissions. Additionally, energy consumption in offices may decrease as there are fewer days of operation.
    7. Health and well-being benefits: Additional time off can contribute to improved physical and mental well-being. Employees can use the extra day to exercise, engage in self-care activities, spend time with loved ones, pursue personal interests, or just have a duvet day. All of which can have a positive impact.
    8. Cost savings: Companies can benefit from cost savings by implementing a shorter workweek. Utility costs, such as electricity and heating, may be reduced by closing the office for an extra day. Additionally, employees might save on commuting expenses, leading to increased discretionary income.

It’s important to note that the benefits of a four-day workweek may vary depending on your job and specific circumstances.

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