From relationships to habits, hobbies, and even job trends– including remote work and the four-day workweek, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a shift in many aspects of life. Flexible working has started a movement that work isn’t life, just a part of it. For the last 100 years it has been standard procedure to grind Monday through Friday, sunup to sundown, and relax on Saturday & Sunday (*que’s 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton*). However, companies are starting to realize that implementing four-day workweeks can result in a happier workplace culture and an increase in staff efficiency, productivity, and participation.
Giving employees one extra optional day off each week can help improve their work-life balance to ensure they are able to take care of their mental and physical health. 4 Day Week Global organized a six-month trial in February 2022 to see how productive employees were when switching to the four-day model. 33 companies in six different countries participated and decreased their employees’ workload by one day. The results were undeniable. The program reported increased revenue and improved employee health and well-being and even had a positive impact on the environment. Employees that are given more time to handle all of life’s ups and downs outside of work show improvements in job satisfaction, teamwork, work/life balance, and company loyalty.
The beauty of a flexible, shorter workweek is that it benefits employers as well as employees. Switching to a four-day workweek has proven to save firms money on overhead and other expenditures such as electricity and energy consumption, retention, office supplies, and more. Employees take fewer sick days with this model, resulting in an increase in overall company productivity. Businesses can also save money by cutting back on electricity and office supply usage by eliminating the extra day. Companies, including our client partner Educause, have been adopting more flexible work programs to improve work–life balance and be a part of this growing trend. After the successful 4 Day Week Global trial, nearly 100 companies began considering or implementing this model.
As employment trends continue to change, transitioning to a four-day workweek may be the key to enhancing company performance and productivity. The condensed work week allows employees more time to take care of personal matters so they can return to work bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and ready to be productive. These flexible work programs support employee well-being, and happiness, and even increase company productivity. You may even be saving your company money while doing so. Like it or not, flexible work weeks are the future of businesses, and it might be time to start implementing them at your company.