The four-day working week: You’ve probably heard of it.
With the UK (slowly but surely…) coming out of the pandemic, expectations have changed in the workplace world. Hybrid working and worker’s mental health are some of the areas that have been highlighted as of key importance over the past two years. But more recently, we’ve seen a rise in interest in another area.
Four-day working weeks. Same wage, 80% of the time, in exchange for 100% of productivity.
Previously, other countries have explored this working style; Microsoft Japan reported that in their own 5-week trial, “Work-Life Choice”, productivity skyrocketed by almost 40%, and 92.1% of their employees enjoyed the shorter workweek.
This trial happened back in 2019, so you may be wondering why only now the UK has caught on; part of this is due to a recent campaign set up by 4 Day Week Global.
Momentum has been building more and more in recent weeks, and many UK businesses are now signed up to the new six-month pilot scheme, created by 4 Day Week Global. They have partnered with such companies as the UK think tanks Autonomy and the New Economics Foundation to put together the scheme.
Some of the companies joining the project include Gracefruit, Legacy Events, and UPAC; which are businesses of differing scales and industries. Hopefully, this will give us a better idea of how the work style could affect different businesses.
So, what are the positives to a four-day working week?
“We invented the weekend a century ago and are long overdue a four-day working week which would benefit workers, employers, the economy, our society and our environment.” 4 Day Week
As HR Consultants, we’re passionate about finding the best ways to work, that benefit both business owners and employees alike. With this in mind, we’re going to break down the above quote to explore what the main positives could be if you decide to trial a four-day working week.
- Better employee performance
Having your employees work at their best level is important for so many reasons. If your team is performing well, profits and company progress will follow suit.
Interestingly, a report by Henley Business School showed that 78% of businesses already taking part in a four-day working week, said staff were “happier, less stressed” by 70% and also took fewer days off ill, by 62%.
In short, a happy worker is a better worker.
- Better work-life balance
Giving your workers an extra day off per week could give them a huge boost of time to rest and spend time with loved ones, and after the pandemic, we could all do with that.
We’ve spoken about the importance of employee mental health previously here at Triple Three Solutions, and employees will likely find a shorter workweek beneficial for their own mental health; as having the time to take a break is becoming harder and harder nowadays.
Make sure you’re listening to your workers and their needs, as well as your own.
For: The Economy
- More productivity
Productivity is a huge driving factor in a successful workplace, and business overall. Having productive employees in return gives better results and a better working atmosphere.
64% of those from Henley’s report spoke of improvements in their staff productivity, after their experiences in the shorter workweek. Productivity can be derived from many areas in a workplace, as well as in a shorter workweek, so make sure you’re taking the right steps in bringing out the best in your employees.
Things like good team communication, no micromanagement and optimised workflow all attribute to productivity; if you need support in any of these areas, make sure to reach out for our HR services, as we’re here to help.
For: The Environment
- Reduced Carbon Footprint
If a four-day working week became the norm in the UK by 2025, it would shrink the UK’s emissions by a reported total of 127m tonnes. So it would obviously make a huge difference!
After COP26 last year, we all especially know how important cutting back is for the environment, so being able to give back in any form is positive.
Make sure your own business is operating in a more sustainable manner: Cycle to work initiatives, buying in from sustainable companies, every bit helps!
So, is a four-day working week for your business?
After reading through all of this, you may find a four-day working week would work perfectly for your own company. Or, you may be unsure.
Either way, make sure you check with your employees whether it will suit them. Your current working structure may be preferable to some, so checking with your own team is important.
If you’d like to join 4 Day Week Global in their pilot, visit their website and sign-up today. Their deadline for employers is the 31st of March, so you’ve got time to make the decision for your business.
And don’t feel disheartened if you aren’t able to partake in a four-day working week in your business just yet. More opportunities are arriving with each day, so when your time is right, go for it.
333 can help:
Are you thinking of moving to a four-day working week? Or are you feeling overwhelmed by the idea of it? For help on this and any other HR Support, please feel free to get in touch. Call 0333 050 3330, use our contact page or email us at email@example.com.