Is Thursday the new Friday?
By now we’ve all heard of remote working, freelance work and flexible hour schemes. But have you heard about a 4 day working week? This hypothetical reality has actually taken place in some parts of the world. At times successfully, other times not so much. Now, this concept may very well become a reality for many businesses amidst the post-pandemic working environment. But, how would a 30 hour week affect your personal and professional life?
Some may think this concept nothing more than a fantasy, but others agree that ‘It’s an idea whose time has come’, and the past year has only emphasized its relevance. The idea originated in New Zealand and quickly became a concept to explore in other countries like Spain, France and the UK. Many governments have started to launch a pilot project for businesses interested in the idea.
The Monday-Friday 9-5 work timetable has only been followed all these years due to societal norms and leaders being unsure of innovation. However, after continuously being pushed towards new horizons during the great business reset, this new 30 hour working week could very well become a revolutionary step forward.
Rather than harming their productivity or company output, this trial motivates employees to get organised and finish all their workload in a shorter amount of time. Japan recently released the results of their 4 day work week which revealed a 40% increase in productivity. Technology has been a massive part of this, allowing employees the flexibility to work from anywhere and at any time.
Boost in Employee Mental Health
The thought of a shorter work week significantly increases employee commitment and job satisfaction. A happier workforce equals a more successful company and a less stress induced working environment. When your people have the chance to take more days off and rest, they will come back to work with a fresh perspective and an eagerness to take on new challenges.
Equality in the Workplace
A balanced life ultimately promotes equality in the workplace. How? It’s simple. Often, people find themselves unable to work as much as they would like to because of childcare responsibilities. Research shows that 89% of these people are women. An adjusted 4 day work week means employees are able to maintain a balance between family care and work responsibilities.
A Greener World
It may be hard to believe that shorter working weeks could help save the environment, but research shows it may be true. Working from home and hybrid working have already significantly reduced our carbon footprint. By adding the possibility of skipping a whole day of commute, we can cut emissions by reducing carbon-intensive modes of transportation.
What could go wrong?
Whenever it comes to implementing something new, there are bound to be difficulties and mishaps along the way. It may be that the project is not managed correctly and work doesn’t get completed on time, communication in the workplace might suffer or customers struggle to get behind the trend. The right attitude, team support and technology will be essential. What also needs to be considered is the fact that employee salaries would not be affected, which means the project might not be cost effective in the grand scheme of things. In fact, a survey revealed that 73% of leaders raised concerns over this new trial in regards to working contract regulations, rotating staff around and even judgements over being perceived as lazy for taking a day off.
Where does TeamEQ support you?
As we encounter new challenges in our professional lives, we also become more aware of the changes we could implement to ease and improve our work. HR Tools like TeamEQ can be part of that cultural transformation.
Data driven technology can help prevent some major issues, as they support Team Leaders and TeamMates in staying connected and making sure their well-being is always the best it can be. It monitors important variables which indicate how people may feel and what they need such as engagement, commitment, eNPS and personal satisfaction. This creates a trusting and transparent environment between them which is a key component for a successful implementation of an innovative way of working.
Attention to Mental Health is increasingly important and this type of change in our lives has been long overdue to improve it. Moving to a 4-day week may not fix all of our problems, but could it be part of the cultural transformation we need towards a more successful work/life balance and efficient working environment?
Find out how TeamEQ could help you manage the before and after of this cultural change by asking for a demo today.