Following the various lockdowns that happened worldwide, we’ve seen a shift in how people work. Some changes have been introduced or normalized, such as remote work, work from home, and hybrid work. But there is one option that companies from all industries and even entire countries have been studying and considering lately: the 4-day work week.
What this basically means is that employees would work 4 days and have 3 days to rest, following a 100-80-100 model: 100% pay for 80% of the time in exchange for a commitment to maintain 100% productivity.
While studies show that the main benefit of this model is a better quality of life for employees, there are a lot of things to consider when thinking about implementing it. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons that were identified in research that was conducted by the Reed Recruitment Agency.
Some of the pros include:
Increased productivity: With employees spending less time at work, they tend to feel happier and more fulfilled, which leads to them focusing on their job during their 4-day week.
Environmental benefits: By making the working week shorter, employees don’t need to commute as much, reducing their carbon footprint.
Improved morale and fewer absences: Having more time to themselves, employees can focus on personal goals and spending time with loved ones. This will increase employees’ happiness and contribute to less burnout.
Improvement in recruitment and retention: After the pandemic, employees want more flexibility from employers, so offering this flexibility is a great way of attracting and retaining talent.
While the pros of a four-day work week sound great, there are also cons:
It doesn’t work for every industry: some sectors need a 24/7 presence, such as emergency services, public transport networks and logistics.
It doesn’t suit all employees: some employees prefer the regular 5-day structure and would prefer to put in more hours than the 4-day model offers.
Increased costs: some industries require employees to work long shifts and may have to pay more overtime or hire more staff to make up for the shorter work week.
It is safe to conclude that, while many companies and industries have succeeded with this model and seen benefits such as increased productivity and employee happiness, this change does not work for all industries.
Let’s see what our leaders at Hubtek think about the implementation of a four-day work week:
Andrew Gulovsen, CMO:
The 4 day work week is a very viable option. However, there are factors to be considered to make it successful.
1) Setting proper expectations for work results for your internal team and for your customers.
2) Proper coverage needs to be ensured. If you have a team, rotate the day off and cross train roles to provide a seamless experience for the internal and external customers.
3) Measure the success and make adjustments to ensure results. The goal is to have no disruption in service while providing a better work/life balance for your team.
Valentina Villa, People Experience Director:
From a Human Resources standpoint, a four-day work week and three-day rest sounds like good mental health, and work/life balance. I believe that it is viable for administrative and management positions.
However, for the operations area it is unlikely, though not impossible, for this to happen because the Logistics Industry never stops. If businesses or clients wanted to implement this model for their employees, they would need to have rotating shifts for all employees in order to have 24/7 coverage for their operation. This implies establishing very well-defined payroll processes and personnel management.
Elizabeth Vélez, COO:
Thinking about it from the employee standpoint it could potentially be beneficial as it would allow them more free time for their family and/or hobbies. However, the rule is, you would still do 100% of your job, but in 80% of the time. So, those days that you are at work may be longer, heavier and with more workload, and how healthy can that be for them? Or their family? Or their time for themselves during those days?
Now, from the Logistics Industry standpoint, I do not find it beneficial, as our industry never stops. It literally moves 24/7. So, if we were to implement a 4-day work week it may end up with brokers needing more people to be able to cover what fewer people previously did. Of course, technology will need to be a key ingredient for brokers if they ever decide to go for a 4-day a week schedule, but can we leave the entire operation to technology?
I don’t believe there would be a real benefit in shortening the week yet having the same workload. I believe the real benefit is to offer jobs where people can feel secure, appreciated, and empowered in their role. A job where they can see the profitability impact they deliver, and that they can have access to enough technology so that they don’t need to spend time on repetitive tasks, but more on strategic tasks that enable the broker to be more efficient, more productive, and with a better work culture for everyone.
To learn more about the Four Day Work Week, click here.
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