There has been a considerable change in the way companies work since the pandemic. It was impossible to work in the office due to the lockdown situation. As a result, the companies were incurring huge losses. Productivity decreased considerably. Work output took a huge set back and businesses were moving towards their doom. This is when remote work emerged as a ray of hope. The pandemic made us think about more flexible methods of working.
But once the pandemic was over, the remote companies came up with a new idea- 4 days work week culture. There is no doubt that a 4-day work week is one of the most promising ideas that emerged out of the pandemic when it comes to ways of working but how does a 4-day work week work?
How does a 4 day work week work?
In a 4-day work week, you ideally work for 32 hours a week accompanied by a three-day weekend. An interesting fact is that many companies with 4 day work week report the same level of productivity while working fewer hours because of increased efficiency.
That is why should we have a 4-day work week.
Deciding working days in a 4-day work week depends on businesses and companies. You could work the first four days of the week, and the rest are off. Or you could work from Friday to Monday, and the rest are off. This is how a 4-day work week work.
There is a saying that "Each coin has two sides"- Good and bad. There are many ways a 4-day work week can affect company culture, employee performance, and work-life balance.
Advantages of a 4-day work week
Why is a 4-day work week better?
The answer to this question ‘Why is a 4-day work week better’ can’t be summed up in a few words. Let’s have a look at the advantages of a 4-day work week to answer this question.
Better recruitment and retention of employees
In many organizations, burnout is a major challenge, and they need creative solutions to deal with it.
- In addition to giving employees an extra day to rest over the weekend, shorter workweeks will also help them return to work fresh and prepared to achieve their goals.
- Employers can increase employee retention and engagement in the workspace by providing an environment that puts employees first.
- For a four-day workweek to be effective and successful, it doesn't need to be implemented all year round. Some companies offer a shorter workweek only during a certain period in a year.
Increase in productivity
It is common for employees to take two hours to complete a task, even when they could have completed it in forty minutes or less.
- Efficient workers are often forced to do extra work (sometimes unpaid). That has caused them to learn to stretch assignments out to meet expectations.
- Employees would be more motivated to maximize their productivity if they had a four-day work week instead of five and this is why should we have a 4-day work week.
- Changing to a 4-day work week will also force managers to look closely at the working schedule. It will also allow them to cut off any unnecessary meetings.
In addition to maintaining a high productivity level, workers have more time to focus, be refreshed, and enjoy life when the workweek is reduced to four days.
Better health of employees
According to the APA, burned-out employees are twice as likely to be looking for a new job, 63% more likely to take a sick day, and 23% more likely to visit the emergency room.
- Stress is bad for both a person's physical and mental health. It badly affects sleeping patterns and reduces the efficiency of the immune system.
- A 32-hour work week will benefit the employees' overall health which gives us another reason why should we have a 4-day work week.
- Despite working more hours, we still need to make time for our non-work-life commitments. For this reason, we often multitask ineffectively.
- Employees are not getting any benefits from multitasking during hobbies or self-care activities due to a lack of concentration. Hence, they are more likely to burn out faster.
Increase in happiness
- A 32-hour work week gives employees more free time. They get the time and a chance to improve their work-life balance.
- Not many people will complain about that.
More time to do what you enjoy increases overall happiness and can help to increase loyalty towards a company.
A four-day work week is beneficial for everyone, including the companies not offering 100% remote work. It could help everyone to save money. For instance, employers can save on office rent and electricity bills, and employees can save on travel costs.
Disadvantages of the 4-day work week
Why a 4 day work week is bad?
If a 4 day work week culture is so good then why is not implemented everywhere? It is because the 4-day work week is bad for certain firms and in certain situations. Let’s read to find out why.
It doesn't work with all business models.
Unfortunately, not every business can benefit from a four-day workweek.
- It is only suitable for businesses that can completely restructure to fit a new way of working. You must decide if a four-day work week is appropriate for your company or not.
- Implementing a four-day workweek does not happen overnight, especially if businesses lack the technology to help employees optimize their working hours and that is why a 4-day workweek is bad for a few organizations.
Being readily available to clients
Client-based companies might be concerned that their clients will become impatient with a four-day workweek.
- If your company must be open Monday through Friday to serve customers, consider allowing your staff to choose whatever day of the week they want off. After that, make sure your clients can always reach someone.
- Additionally, employees might need to be on call on their day off.
However, this can be counterproductive, no matter how urgent it is for clients. A four-day workweek can result in even greater burnout for the employees.
Best companies that work four days a week
To help you understand how does a 4-day workweek works, read about the list of best companies that work four days a week.
After ditching their hybrid work policy, Kickstarter announced they would switch to a shorter four-day work week and go 100% remote. As part of their commitment to personal growth, they encourage employees to pursue side projects that are passionate to them.
As an employee of this company, you will be assigned various duties and roles. By taking on different roles, you will develop skills in multiple areas, enabling you to become a valuable asset.
It's no surprise they're rated as one of the best tech companies to work for; in 2017, they became the 4th major tech company to implement a 4 day work week. Postmark (an email delivery service) and Beanstalk (code deployment service) are popular developer tools created by Wildbit.
- With thousands of customers using their applications, such as Postmark, they offer their staff an incredible work-life balance.
- For instance, they have been offering an annual retreat for all staff members since 2007, and all staff members work 32 hours per week.
GooseChase is an online scavenger hunt platform with an Android and iOS app. They even offer remote scavenger hunts for team-building exercises and office parties! GooseChase recently adopted a 4-day work week as an experiment, but they have said that they won't return to five-day weeks. The company's productivity has not dropped, and its employees are happier and healthier.
DNSFilter announced in August 2021 that it was piloting a 4-day work week to reduce employee stress and improve employee work-life balance. DNSFilter is fully remote and offers unlimited paid time off, team retreats (twice per year), and flexible working schedules. In addition, employees have access to a range of benefits, like home office budgets and medical insurance.
If you're looking for a software job with an excellent work-life balance, you can't do better than Buffer. Engineers at the company can work remotely anywhere in the world while earning a competitive salary.
As a Buffer employee, you'll have the opportunity to work a 4-day week, enjoy health insurance, and access a growth mindset fund. Parents can also take a three-month leave of absence per year to spend time with their children.