Employees who are working full-time on a daily basis may have a tougher time managing their work-life balance – especially during the pandemic crisis where many employees juggled with their personal and work lives.
But research shows that many leaders believe shortened work days will become the norm within the next decade, and more companies will become driven by employee retention and engagement.
While the general attitude to having shorter working days without compromising pay is still ambiguous, leaders should definitely learn more about the benefits of lessening the working calendar for their employees.
Is a four-day work week right for your company?
In a report conducted by CIPD, research revealed that one-third of surveyed employers and business leaders agreed that a four-day work week will become normalised within the next ten years or so.
Although it means that employees are going to have fewer work days in the near future, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to work fewer hours during those working days as the report suggested.
The report, however, showed how only a fraction of firms have implemented shorter working days without reducing pay for a significant portion of their workforce during the last five years, which means companies have yet to figure out how to implement it.
The report also revealed the main factors as to why businesses reduced working hours, which were to increase employee wellbeing and help with employee retention, as 3 in 10 companies answered in the survey.
Employers are going to have to adjust quickly if they don’t want to lose more employees in the future, as having a four-day work week allows them to have more flexibility for their employees.
Why companies should implement a four-day work week
Employees will become more engaged and productive. In the modern day, more and more employers are offering flexible and remote work to their workers which is definitely a perk. Research shows that having a shorter work week can help employees stay focused and engaged in their work.
Having shorter work days can really help employees improve their work-life balance too. Imagine having more days to rest and spend time with your loved ones. This can definitely provide employees more free time which they deserve.
They will be set and ready for new challenges. A four-day work week has been proven to lead to happier and more committed workers. Because they have more time to rest and relax, employees are less likely to be stressed or take sick leaves. As a result, they can go back to work feeling ready to step up and take on new tasks.
Retention and recruitment for employees will be improved. The report by CIPD showed that over 6 in 10 organisations found it much easier to retain and attract talent. This can definitely improve your company’s employee retention and recruitment. In today’s world where many companies struggle to keep their talent pool sufficient, having shorter work days might just help them manage people better.
Smaller carbon footprints will be made. Companies with shorter working days typically have a smaller carbon footprint so reducing our work week from 5 to 4 days may have an environmental benefit as well. Shortening working days means that employees don’t need to commute as much and large office buildings are only in use four days a week.
The workplace will become more inclusive. The flexibility provided by shorter work weeks can play a huge part in giving inclusion for minorities and other marginalised groups as it caters to more people’s preferences. Organisations’ talent pool can be more diverse and inclusive due to the impact of flexible work on people’s work-life balance.