There was a time when corporate workers only had one option. Either you agreed to a five-day workweek or kissed your job goodbye.

But that’s no longer feasible. Our world is changing faster owing to the sudden Covid-19 pandemic and recent technological breakthroughs. 

These transitions have helped most job applicants realize they can work in the comfort of their homes while earning possibly more or spending less on office commutes. 

And that’s where the four–day work week approach comes in.

In this article, we will see how this change is taking a toll on companies and how to make the best use of it for your business.

Current Trends in Work Hours

One thing is true, and it’s the fact that the shift in work hours was bound to happen sooner or later. Covid-19 only served to hasten this process and expose us to the possibilities of new productivity heights despite working less in the office.

An interesting report shows that people worked over 60 hours weekly several decades ago. That’s way more than the current 40 hours from a 5-day work week and shows the continued effort of individuals and companies to create a work-life balance.

However, even a 40-hour work schedule is unable to match up with the current economic realities. With the advent of the 2020 pandemic and alarming news of recession, the cost of things has gone higher than ever before. 

Employees now have to spend more commuting to their workplaces while still hoping to cover other ridiculous expenses.

All these factors negatively impact the financial status and mental health of job seekers. Of course, most companies are already beginning to roll out measures to protect the mental well-being of their employees, according to HR statistics compiled by Kickresume.

Going further, about 44% of respondents for a remote work statistics survey know one person who plans to quit their current job if the company does not reduce in-person work requirements. 

Another 58% say they will ditch their current employment in search of a new one if there’s no provision for remote opportunities. And over 52% of employees have tried renegotiating in-person work requirements with their employers.

Benefits of a 4-Day WorkWeek

Many countries are beginning to advocate for the integration of a 4-day work week, meaning we could soon have a three-day weekend. In fact, Bernie Sanders has already tendered a 32-hour workweek bill in the US. So, the change is here, and here’s how it can benefit businesses.

  • Increased Employee Productivity

Employees, not stakeholders, are the true pillars of your company. And their productivity directly impacts the company’s overall performance. By embracing a 4-day work week, you’re reducing their cost burdens, one less problem. Moreover, they can divert the rest of their time to doing what they love and fully give their all to give you good results when back to work. 

  • Reduced Absenteeism and Burnout

Workers getting late to the office can have several reasons—both legitimate and irrelevant ones. But in most cases, they are burnt out from the previous day’s work.

In fact, a report by McKinsey shows that 75% of employees experience burnout, with women bearing the most brunt. And that’s exactly one of the things a four-day workweek can help you avoid. With lesser absenteeism and burnout, you can boost workplace productivity and reduce employee retention.

Economic Implications for Businesses And Strategies for Successful Implementation

As with every sudden change, businesses should expect to face some challenges when integrating the 4-day workweek approach. For instance, one less workday means you have to ramp up your workflows faster than before. And that’s not quite easy unless you invest in advanced tools to streamline your processes.

Besides the cost implications of adopting new workflow tools, there’s also concern about the impact on revenue. This is because employees and companies need to go through a transitioning period—trying to adopt the new model, adapting tasks to fit in, and all. In the short term, this transition can drastically affect your ROI.

But remember, these are all short-term. For a more rapid implementation and long-term benefit, here are some things you can do:

  • Flexible Scheduling Options

Reducing work days to four means you must compress and complete more tasks within a shorter period. If you’re not handling it well, you might be causing more burnout than before for employees and dip their productivity.

To avoid this, introduce a flextime approach where employees can choose to start and finish earlier. The impact of this is that some employees work better in the early hours of the day while others reach their peak when the sun peaks.

Other methods, such as remote working, allow employees to get the job done at their comfort and pace. Moreover, it cuts down the hours wasted on commuting to and fro daily—time that could have been spent working. Of course, this won’t work for roles involving manual labor, but it should fit perfectly for non-tech jobs in Web3 and other industries.

  • Provide Clear Expectations And Workflow Tools

With a four-day work model, you don’t have enough time to entertain human errors and avoidable mistakes. That’s why you must ensure your employees have clear directives before getting to work. In addition to preventing errors, providing crystal expectations also boosts productivity and ensures your workers focus on what matters the most. 

Integrating a communication channel like Slack is crucial to enhancing seamless workflow if you’re embracing the hybrid workplace model (remote plus office). Other tools, including AI programs that smartly automate repetitive tasks, are also essential. Your content team could use more help from GPT4, while the media team might benefit from Video AI tools.

  • Performance Metrics and Evaluation

As we previously mentioned, transitional phases are usually quite challenging. You might experience a dip here and there if not properly handled. To keep yourself updated on these changes and the impact of your implementations, you should choose vital performance metrics such as ROI, employee turnover rate, and work completion ratio.

You can also track output per employee, workload distribution, and absenteeism. Most importantly, evaluate your ROI occasionally.

Wrapping Up On The Economics Of 4-Day Work Week

The business landscape is changing, and how we work will never be the same anymore. So, companies joining the train and ditching the traditional 5-day work week need to weigh the major pros and cons of a 4-day work week before going ahead. 

If you’re already embracing this model, you can get the most out of it by introducing flexible scheduling options like flextime, setting crystal clear expectations, providing communication channels and workflow tools, and tracking performance metrics for proper evaluation.