The Pros and Cons Of 4-Day Work Week

Allowing employees to work four days a week has become an increasingly popular option among companies looking to increase employee productivity and satisfaction. But is a 4-day work week right for your business?

Let’s dive into pros and cons of implementing 4-day work weeks to shine some light on whether it’s a suitable option for your company.

The pros of a 4-day work week

Better work-life balance: Having an extra day off can help employees spend more time with their families or pursue personal interests. Companies such as Microsoft have tested 4-day work weeks and seen a jump in productivity of as much as 40%.

Reduced burnout & increased productivity: People aren’t agonizing over that last day so much as they are looking forward to it as an opportunity to relax, explore new hobbies, or just do something different. 

Attract better talent: Embracing a 4-day work week can also help companies recruit and retain talent by being more flexible employers who care about workers’ well-being.

The cons of a 4-day work week

Potential increased labor costs: For traditional 5-day-a-week companies, you might be able to have 2 salaried employees working to cover a shift.  If the work week is shortened, you might need a 3rd staff member to ensure the workload is completed in less time.  That leads to higher labor costs.  Alternately, if you don’t increase staff, the workload demands on the same 2 employees might be too high and therefore increase their stress level.  A tool designed to reduce stress might end up simply increasing it.

Less client face time: Another downside is less time with clients. If your clients expect a fast turnaround time, they might not be happy with being unable to reach anyone in your office at certain times. 

This could be mitigated by having someone manage responses when no one else is in the office, but you’ll have to pay them extra for it.  Again, labor costs are increased.

How to decide if a 4-day work week is right for you?

Can a 4-day work week be beneficial for your business?

It’s tempting to think that the answer is yes, but a 4-day workweek isn’t suitable for every company. If you’re considering it for your own business, it’s essential to understand where it could be a good fit and where you need to look for another solution.

A 4-day work week might be right for your business if you are confident that the following things are true:

  • Your team is fully staffed
  • Your team has a strong team dynamic
  • Your business does not revolve around tasks that are very time-sensitive
  • Your client base is flexible and open to accommodating a new schedule because they trust their results will remain strong.

If these things aren’t true of your company and your industry, you may want to work on establishing them before transitioning to a 4-day workweek. 

While that may seem like many conditions that need to be met, keep in mind that if you take care of these first, moving to a 4-day schedule could help improve all of them!  And an HRIS like HRWize might be exactly the tool you need to ensure success!

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