You might have heard about this phrase in recent times. There has been an ongoing debate on whether the 4-day working week should be implemented. Many people are arguing that the five-day working week is not necessary and should be reduced. In the United Kingdom, there has been a trial of the four-day working week. Some countries around the world have also tried the four-day working week and it is proving to be successful to those who started a limited company in the UK.
The four-day working week will have employees working for 4 days and the working hours will be reduced. For a four-day working week, employees will work for 32 hours and will have a three-day weekend. With many companies, working options have changed. Companies have become more flexible. They have working from home options, working different shifts, and hybrid working.
Not everyone however prefers the 4-day working week. Some people do not think the 4-day working week will work. With the different views people have, this article will help you know the pros and cons of the 4-day working week.
Pros of the 4-day working week
The 4-day working week has some advantages. This is the reason why some people are drawn to prefer the 4-day working week.
With the 4-day working week, many costs are reduced. The first thing is that the office costs that are incurred will reduce. A 4-day working week will mean that people will only be working for 4 days a week in the office. The office will be closed for 1 day of the week. If the employees are not working for one day, the usage of electricity for that day will reduce. The office’s electricity bills will reduce because for that one-day electricity will not be in use. There will also be a reduction in water bills, food bills, and many other bills in the office.
For the employer, working the 4-day working week will help reduce transport costs. Many employees spend a lot of money either buying fuel or paying for public means. Working for 4 days a week, employees’ transportation costs will be greatly reduced. Employees will be able to save more. When it comes to office lunch and coffee, a 4-day working week will help employees to save costs related to buying food and coffee.
Increase in Productivity
When having a 4-day working week, the production levels in offices have seen to have increased. Someone might think that because employees will be working for lesser hours, their productivity will reduce. Employees however have more productivity. This happens because employees are happier. An employee working the 4-day working week will be more focused on his or her job than an employee who works a 5–day working week. The employee working a 4-day working week will give the tasks assigned the priority while at work because he or she knows that they are around for only 4 days. Most employees will be content hence there will be lesser distractions in the office. This will lead to an increase in productivity.
The quality of work produced will also be good since the employees will be content, focused, and happy while in the 4-day working week.
Low employee turnover
If employees are not satisfied at their workplace, they end up quitting their jobs. It is easier for a company to retain its employees when it has a 4-day working week. Potential employees will be drawn to your company if it has a 4-day working week. The company can retain and recruit more people when it has the 4-day working week option in place.
If a company puts in place the 4-day working week, it can also have optional methods of working. The company can decide to go fully remote or hybrid. The introduction of different shifts during the 4-day working week will also place the company at an advantage. With the different options of working and the 4-day working week, a company can retain its talent.
Better work-life balance
When the Coronavirus pandemic hit the world, many companies changed from office working to working remotely and working from home. With the introduction of the 4-day working week, employees have more time to themselves. Employees’ social life has improved and they are happier.
Employees have a long weekend where they have the chance to relax. The 4-day working week has also made it possible for employees to spend time doing what they love most during the 5-day weekend. This has ultimately increased employee happiness and satisfaction. Employees can meet up with their friends and families during the long weekend. With the 4-day working week, employees will have a long weekend which will help them have some time for doing household chores.
When employees are happy, they will be more productive at work. Happy employees will also stay longer in a company that contributes to them having a good work-life balance.
One of the advantages of the 4-day working week is employees are healthier. For a 4-day working week, employees spend the –day weekend doing things they love. This has an impact on employees’ health and well-being. Employees who work the 5-day week are often tired because they spend more hours in the office. When not in the office, they are spending more time commuting to the office. This leads to employees getting burnout, depression, and bad health. When working 5 days a week, employees take many sick leaves.
Employees with children and elderly parents will get less stress. It is because they will have more time to spend with them. With the 4-day working week, employees have enough time to rest after working for the 4 days. It results in better physical health, emotional health, and mental health.
Having the 4-day working week has benefits on the environment. When companies have a 4-day working week, employees will spend one lesser day commuting to and from work. This will reduce the carbon being emitted by cars and trains. There will be a decrease in environmental pollution. The air will be cleaner and there will be reduced environmental pollution and diseases. Yes, one day makes a big difference.
The recent economy has made things expensive. This includes fuel prices. Fuel prices have gone up and it is becoming hard for people to fuel their cars. A 4-day working week will help employees to save some money because they will only be working for four days. The money that could have been spent on fuel can be saved for a rainy day.
It is even better if accompany introduces the 4-day working week and also offers either remote working or working from home. Employees will save a lot of money when working remotely or from home as they will not be using any commuting money.
The 4-day working week however has its cons. Some people are against this type of work. Here are some of the cons of the 4-day working week.
Cons of a 4-day working week
More work for others
The 4-day working week can make others have more work. Since it is expected that the 4-day working week will have reduced hours, some work might not be done. If a company has some workload, it might request the employees to work overtime to get work done. This means that some employees will end up working for more than 4 days a week to have work done.
Project managers and supervisors will also have more work to do. They will be busy making sure the employees comply with the work rules and are on shift. They also have to monitor shift attendance and productivity.
Longer working hours
The 4-day working week means that employees will work an 8-hour shift four days a week and will have a day weekend. Some companies might agree with the 4-day working week but have different opinions when it comes to hours worked. Since an employee is supposed to work a total of 40 hours a week, the companies might change the shift hours. The employees will be required to work the 4-days a week but with more hours. Employees will be forced to work for 10 hours a week to achieve their 40 hours.
This will lead to employees having a burnout. The mental and physical health of employees will suffer if they work for more hours. The employees’ morale and happiness will also change. This will result in low productivity. When employees are tired and unhappy, they might resign from their jobs.
This is one of the disadvantages of the 4-day working week style. Some customers might not e satisfied with the services being offered. For example, some customers might not be able to access government services if they have a 4-day working week. This might make customers angry because they will have to postpone their needs and wants to a day that the offices are open.
For companies, the customers or clients might be working a 5-day working week. This means that when the client is at work, there is a day that the employees of a company are not at work. This might raise some disagreements and issues with the clients or customers and the company. Some customers might want to look for other alternatives or other companies to offer them the services they need.
When using the 4-day working week, some employees might not be as productive as when they work the 5-day week. This is because the working hours are most of the time lesser. It might be hard for employees to produce the same amount of work during the 4-day working week. The work produced by the employees will reduce.
Not for all businesses
The 4-day working week is not for every business. This type of working week will be better for companies that do not produce essential services. For institutions like restaurants, hospitals, and retail stores, it might be harder for them to adapt to the 4-day working week. It is because their services are needed almost all week through.
Before deciding on the number of days your company will work during the week, consider your business model. You should also weigh your options before making the final decision on the number of days your company will be working.
The 4-day working week can increase the company’s costs. The 4-day working week means that employees will only be working for 4 days of the week. If there is extra work that needs to be done, the company can have the employees go back to work but at a cost.
Employees will only agree to work for more days if they are paid overtime. A company will therefore incur more costs because it will have to pay its employees overtime for the extra hours they have worked.
Some employees might be against the 4-day working week. Some employees will not be for working more hours to have the 4-day working week. The employees will therefore not be satisfied when they are made to work for 4 days a week. It will make the employees’ morale go down which can also lead to low productivity.
Some employees might rebel against the company’s management and eventually quit their jobs. It will make the company lose its talent. The process of hiring and recruiting people can be expensive and tedious.
The 4-day working week has both pros and cons. Before deciding to make employees in your company work for 4 days a week, you should consider the pros and cons. You should also engage your employees to find out what their preferences are. Be flexible and have different working options for your employees. If your employees are satisfied with the working conditions, shifts, and schedules, the company will grow. A company owner should also consider other factors like customer satisfaction, the type of business the company is, and the costs the company has. Do the research and find the best practices a company can have to succeed while working four days a week.