A few days ago, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed when I came across an article that immediately caught my attention. The report highlighted how artificial intelligence is reducing the workdays in a workweek in the UK. It evoked my curiosity and persuaded me to do some more research on that topic.
When I did my research, I realized that the concept of reducing the workdays to boost productivity has been around for quite some time now, but very few businesses have adopted it. Last year, a New Zealand trust management company called Perpetual Guardian experimented with a four-day workweek for two months. Their employees achieved better work-life balance, improved focus and reduced their stress levels.
Even today, I came across an interesting piece titled “Microsoft Japan tested a four-day workweek and productivity jumped by 40%.” Microsoft experimented by reducing the number of workdays to four and managed to increase their productivity by 40%. Additionally, employees took 25% less time off during the experiment. Takuya Hirano, CEO and President of Microsoft Japan, said in his statement, “Work a short time, rest well and learn a lot.”
Companies who have adopted a four-day workweek have achieved tremendous results with it, which makes me wonder why other businesses are not embracing four-day workweeks? Is all the hype surrounding this concept really justified? Does reducing the working days actually work? Read on to find out.
In this article, we will take a more in-depth look at the advantages and disadvantages of a shorter workweek.
Pros and Cons of Four Day Work Week
Here are some of the pros and cons of a four-day workweek.
- Cost Reduction
- Higher Productivity
- Satisfied Employees
A four-day workweek can not only save the money of employers, but it can also save money for employees too. Employees don’t have to commute to work, spend on food and drinks while employers can slash their electricity bills by 25 percent.
Employees are more focused and take fewer breaks when they must work four days a week. More importantly, they start to manage their time more efficiently and smartly. As a result, they don’t waste their time on useless activities such as browsing the web endlessly, scrolling through social media feeds, and gossiping with their co-workers.
Four-day work week makes employees happy and hence they are more engaged at work. It also boosts employee morale and helps them achieve a better work-life balance. Due to this, employees are more satisfied with their jobs. This reduces the employee turnover rate and reduces absenteeism.
Lower Environmental Degradation:
A four-day workweek can reduce the carbon footprint of both machines and vehicles. Your employees won’t have to commute to and from your office. This minimizes your carbon footprint. In 2009, the state of Utah implemented a four-day workweek and managed to reduce its greenhouse emissions by 12,000 metric tons a year.
- Risk of Missing Project Deadlines
- Affect Your Daily Schedule
- Number of Hours
- Lower Sales
Risk of Missing Project Deadlines:
One of the first thing you will notice when you switch from a five-day work week to a four-day work week is that it will disturb your project timelines. You will have to adjust your deadlines. If you fail to do that, you will run the risk of missing project deadlines.
Affect Your Daily Schedule:
Companies that implement a four-day workweek tend to make up the lost day by increasing the number of hours an employee must work for a day. This forces them to reach office a few hours earlier or stay for a few hours longer, which negatively impacts their daily routines and schedules.
Same Number of Hours:
As mentioned before, managements some times feel that to compensate for the lost day, it is necessary to increase the number of hours. As a result, employees must clock in the same number of hours as they do on a five-day workweek, which kills the purpose of having a shorter work week and can present the employers as exploiters instead of facilitators.
One less business day a week could translate into lower sales, which can have a negative impact on your bottom line. What’s even worse is the fact that when your prospects see that your business is closed, they might be tempted to use a competitor business instead of yours. As a result, your competitor can acquire your customers. No business wants that, right.
Over to You
Instead of giving a final verdict, I leave it on you to decide whether a shorter workweek is worth it or not. What do you think about shorter workweeks? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and voice your option about this topic.