The balance between personal and professional life is the pursuit of the 21st century. So much is said about mental health and quality time, that one of the benefits most valued by talent is their free time.
Therefore, many companies are adopting a four-day working week or reduced hours on Fridays, lowering working hours for employees so they’re able to take care of their personal lives or even dedicate themselves to another project.
The advantages of such benefits go beyond the mental health of employees. The company’s results are also positively impacted – something we will be discussing in this article.
Advantages of reduced working hours
Talent is no longer looking only at the salary when choosing a company, but more and more benefits are becoming an essential part of their decision making. Therefore, companies are increasingly investing in the well-being and mental health of their employees.
There is an argument to be made that modern technology has significantly sped up the way we work, making it possible for employees to accomplish the same amount of work in less time and still ensure customers are supported, hence the five-day week may no longer be necessary.
A survey conducted by MetLife of more than 2,000 US professionals shows that 72% of respondents would like their companies to provide paid time off.
Microsoft is one of the companies that invest in reduced hours. After testing reducing the work week from 5 to 4 days, it obtained a 40% increase in team productivity as well as a surge in employee satisfaction.
The advantages of offering such benefits to your employees are numerous:
•Becoming more attractive to talent by working on employer branding: Adopting a four-day week could attract a broader talent pool, as 74% of surveyed office workers said they support a four-day workweek.
• A smaller carbon footprint: In general, countries that have shorter working hours have a lower carbon footprint, so decreasing our working week from five to four days may also have a positive impact on the environment.
• Increased productivity: An in-depth examination of the relationship and productivity conducted by Sanford University revealed a clear correlation between the two factors. Overworked employees are actually less productive than employees working an average or normal working week.
• Better employee engagement: A four-day week can lead to happier and more committed employees. Employees are less likely to be stressed or take sick leave as they have plenty of time to rest and recover. As a result, they return to work feeling ready to take on new challenges.
• Reduced costs: Companies can see savings in terms of reductions in electricity usage, office supplies such as paper and printing, and cafeteria costs.
It is crucial to bear in mind that a four-day work week is not a one-size-fits-all solution. My advice for planning a seamless transition for companies is to work backward to find the best schedule for you and your employees.
Final Thoughts: Should You Adopt the 4-Day Work Week?