A four-day workweek is still a buzz in organizations from around the world. Reducing the working days to four days a week is an arguable idea. Some organizations have been experimenting with the culture to discover its implications. Better productivity is another result that the companies are expecting from this culture.
The concept was launched in February 2018 by Andrew Barnes, a New Zealand-based entrepreneur and philanthropist. He ideated the four-day workweek in his own company Perpetual Guardian. In March 2018, he stated that the staff members were able to find more time for themselves, allowing them to engage in new hobbies and learn new skills. Along with that, they could spend more time with their family and friends.
That was the end of the trial period. After which, 78% of the employees declared that they could perfectly manage their work-life balance. Their stress levels and overall job satisfaction were increased. This resulted in a further boost of this debatable work culture, leading other organizations and councilors to brainstorm more on the topic.
As the pandemic started and continued, more companies came forward in the favor of four-day workweek work culture. Considering they have been working remotely for over 2 years now, everyone has gotten accustomed to working from home. Now the question is, is it really plausible for every company to introduce a four-day workweek culture?
Japan is a country that has always given utmost importance to healthier and happier work culture. Panasonic Japan accepted this work culture with an aim to see better work-life balance, joining a handful of other Japanese companies. In 2019 Microsoft Japan saw a 40% boost in productivity and happier employees causing more companies to join the culture. It proves that the duration to complete a task is not directly proportionate to its quality or productivity. Employees’ productivity can be measured with results rather than with time.
UAE is another country that made its transition to this employee-oriented culture in 2021 with an aim to achieve higher productivity and morale.
A four-day workweek has resulted in employees being able to allocate more time to their mental and physical health. The level of their commitment has also increased. A happier work culture can lead to improved employee retention. They find more time that can help them feel relaxed and they would also be less likely to take sick leaves. This would cultivate more enthusiasm for them to work the next day.
In 2015, Sweden conducted a study with nurses who were responsible to work only 6 hours for 5 days a week. The outcome was effective and reassuring as the nurses could organize 85% healthier activities for their patients. Along with that, they were clocking relatively fewer sick hours and were able take care of their mental well-being.
The countries and companies that have started the four-day workweek regime mostly have Fridays as the day off. Hence, customers using these companies’ services can find it difficult to reach out to the authorized people who could resolve their concerns. This can cause a dissatisfied number of customers. An effective solution to this problem would be to integrate a bot system or AI-enabled websites that would take away the harsh dependency on employees.
To business savvy employers, the four-day workweek culture can cause major disruption as they have to pay the employees the same salary for lesser hours of work. Employers can discuss the matter and decide with their most trusted managers to work with their team members on a trial period. Once they have the output, they can decide whether to introduce it to the whole company or not.
As technological advances are upgrading every single day, the four-day workweek culture can become more possible for companies around the world. We are yet to find more results from companies that have encouraged the culture. And as per their results, many more companies might come forward with their ideas to implement it more efficiently.