Although a five-day working week is the norm in the UK, results from trials of 4-day working weeks in countries such as Iceland have proven successful, which begs the question:
Why are companies not implementing a four-day working week?
If you are a business owner, you are within your rights to maintain a five-day working week, however, is it really in the best interests of your business and employees?
Keep reading for a discussion on whether you should follow the lead of some UK companies who have turned to four-day working weeks.
A 4-Day Working Week
A four-day working week consists of what it suggests – a business week of only 4 days, which could be tailored to suit the company’s own preferences, meaning this could mean Monday to Thursday, or even simply having Wednesday off.
Despite less working hours, many four-day working week initiatives, such as the UK trial and the success of the Belgium one, maintain the same pay for a five-day working week in exchange for employee dedication to productivity.
In particular, the UK trial of over 3,300 workers at 70 companies is based on the 100:80:100 model of 100% pay for 80% of the time for 100% productivity. As this trial is still ongoing as of December 2022, it’s still too early to say what will become of this.
On the other hand, it appears very clear that this initiative aims to improve productivity and boost happiness within the workforce.
Why a 4-Day Working Week?
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, remote and hybrid working has become very common, with the majority of employees working from home because of COVID at the height of the pandemic.
Now that we have entered a post-pandemic business world, not only has the climate adapted to remote and hybrid working environments, but also increasing calls for a four-day working week.
Here are some of the benefits that you can reap from adopting a four-day working week within your business:
- Reduced employee stress levels – a four-day working week can help improve everyone’s (including yourself) work-life balance, which is crucial when it comes to taking care of your wellbeing. You can expect less burnout and increased happiness in employees.
- Improved productivity and motivation – better work-life balance means less stress and boosted morale which leads to more motivated employees and increased productivity
- Attract and retain talent – a flexible working arrangement is much more attractive to potential and existing employees, which can help your business recruit the top talent in the field, as well as retain talented employees.
- Cost-effective – four-day working weeks can be cost-efficient for businesses trying to cut down on operational costs, however, this working model can also be adverse in industries that demand labour such as healthcare.
Depending on your business needs, a four-day working week can truly be advantageous for your business, especially when it comes to improving the wellbeing of your employees and increasing overall productivity within the workplace.
Nothing is yet set in stone when it comes to four-day working weeks in the UK, but this should not stop you from implementing it in your business should you wish to.