The pandemic caused a major shift in the work environment for companies across the globe. Remote and hybrid work trends have gotten the most traction and press, but not far behind that might be the movement toward a four-day work week. As with most emerging trends, there are both pros and cons for employers and employees. In this article, we’re taking a deeper dive into the benefits of a four-day work week.
Benefits of a Four-Day Work Week for Employers
1. Reduces overhead & operational costs
For companies that are back to a shared office space, one less day at work means less costs on things like electricity, paper, ink, air conditioning, food, and more operational expenses. Regardless of work setting (in-person, hybrid, or remote), Forbes reported the experience of one organization that saw an improvement in intellectual capital as a benefit of a four-day workweek.
2. Reduced absenteeism
A recent survey of 4,000 employees found that 83% of Americans prefer a four-day workweek. Accommodating this request and allowing for a better work-life balance for employees may lead to fewer sick days and improved productivity during working hours. Employees have more time to tend to their personal life with more time and support to do it.
3. Motivated & productive employees
A four-day workweek may attract a higher caliber and broader pool of employees because of the strong desire to have a shorter work week. To retain positions within the company, employees may work harder to perform well and are more motivated to do so. As one example, Microsoft Japan saw an increase in productivity of 40% when it switched to a four-day workweek.
Benefits of a Four-Day Work Week for Employees
1. Holistic wellbeing
Fewer hours at work means more hours to tend to the rest of life. Schedules that allow for increased attention to family, healthier habits around nutrition and exercise, and even volunteerism lead to improved holistic health. Building a strong work-life culture in an organization promotes better wellbeing for all.
2. Autonomy & trust
Employees who are trusted to get their work done and are empowered to do it perform better. Zenefits suggests that “When you give employees autonomy to do their work in any allotted amount of time, they take that power and translate it into ownership and engagement.” Gallup’s Q12 Survey responses also reveal how important autonomy and trust are to engagement.
3. Job satisfaction
In the midst of the great resignation, employees are less likely to leave and remain more loyal to their employer when they are satisfied with their workplace. Satisfaction at work includes having a flexible work schedule and strong work-life balance. This kind of workplace culture is indispensable and non-negotiable for employees in the current work climate.
The benefits of a four-day work week don’t end here, but highlight a few of the arguments for the shift. While not without its challenges, many organizations, including BetterYou, are making the change and are willing to experiment with this new work cadence. If you’re one of the organizations making the switch, we’re rooting for you too, and would love to hear how it goes!