As we’re still in the depths of the pandemic, the widespread adoption of remote work and a virtual office space has led office workers into desiring even more flexibility in their job than in recent years. Businesses that were once reluctant to let employees work remotely have ended up embracing the concept due to what the pandemic has done to their way of life.
With many workers adapting to the flexibility of remote work and a virtual office, the traditional 9-5, Monday-Friday work hours at the office is already becoming a thing of the past while several more innovative approaches such as a four-day work week are being tried out. In fact, in a recent survey, 74% of office workers support the idea of a four-day work week while 8% reported that they already have this benefit!
Many businesses are starting to adapt to more innovative approaches in their remote work and virtual office space, including implementing a four-day work week. Connecticut Business Centers explains how this works, including its benefits and drawbacks:
How It Works
Generally, there are two different approaches to the four-day work week. One approach is the “compressed” work week, which means employees work for 10 hours a day over four days a week instead of eight hours a day over five days a week.
The second approach is a shorter working week: instead of employees working 40 hours a week, their working hours are reduced to 32 hours. Usually, the day off falls on a Monday or Friday so that employees get a three-day weekend. Keep in mind, however, that businesses can designate any day of the week as “off”, based on your business needs and employees’ preference.
The Benefits of a Four-Day Work Week
While having another day off and more personal time is the biggest benefit to gain from a four-day work week, there are other advantages. such as better work-life balance and stress reduction. Employees aren’t the only ones who benefit from a shortened work week however; employers can gain advantages as well, such as:
- Attracting and Retaining More Talent – While holidays are always a cause for excitement, offering a three-day weekend perk to your employees is bound to keep them motivated throughout the week. Motivated employees are happy employees, which means they won’t look elsewhere for jobs. The four-day work week is still a relatively unique offering, so it can be a great way to attract the best talent and keep your office space engaged with enthusiastic employees!
- Better Productivity – It hardly comes as a surprise that a happier workforce is a more productive workforce, but according to research, there’s a similarly positive link between fewer work hours and productivity levels.
Employees that are aware they have fewer hours to complete their workload will drive them to become more efficient with their time while using software to automate or optimize processes. In Japan, for example, Microsoft had tested the four-day working week for a month and discovered its employees were happier and productivity increased by 40%. This is due to the fact that people were well-rested, so they were more focused and productive.
- Overall Cost Reduction – If you’re still keeping a physical office, a four-day work week can help reduce your maintenance and office running costs for your business. Your electricity and water expenses will surely decrease if your employees don’t need to go to your office space as frequently as a Monday-Friday work week. You may even share the cost of your office space with another company through an office timeshare system, which is basically where another company will pay the rent for the office space on a day when you’re not using it.
The Drawbacks of a Four-Day Work Week
Of course, a four-day work week can be too good to be true as it’s not exactly made for all businesses. Other drawbacks include:
- It Can Be an Expensive Risk – Cutting out an entire work day or reducing hours may decrease the overhead costs in your office space, but expecting a productive output to remain constant or even increase can be risky. That’s why it’s important to consider the risks and test the approach first before making the switch full-time.
- It Can Affect Productivity – Some studies have shown that employee productivity is optimal when employees do six focused hours of work a day, rather than eight or more. That said, a compressed four-day work week where employees work for 10 hours a day could actually be detrimental to some of your employees’ productivity.
- It’s Not Made For Every Business Model – Your business might be expected to be online and functioning 24/7, so adapting to a four-day work week might not be beneficial at all. Some customer service roles focused around responding to customer queries may also struggle with this way of working; it will only affect their output and performance.
Quick Tips In Implementing a Four-Day Work Week
If you think your business can benefit from a four-day work week, don’t just jump into it as it can easily affect your business. You’ll need a plan of action first to maximize its benefits. You can start by asking your employees what they think about having a four-day work week. By involving your employees in the planning process, they’ll be more motivated to make it work!
Once you brainstorm with your employees and set your objectives, consider a trial first before making it permanent. Doing a four-day work week for a month should serve as a good trial period that can allow you to take notes on any adjustments and issues that need to be addressed. You can also consider doing a four-day work week for the slower weeks or months during the year.
Just like the four-day work week, having a virtual office space can provide more flexibility for your business. If you’re looking for a good office space in the local area, don’t hesitate to call Connecticut Business Centers for your company needs. Call us today at (407) 767-6912 or fill out our convenient online request form. We serve our customers in Connecticut, including Stamford and surrounding areas.