One area some entrepreneurs might want to reconsider is operating hours. The typical workweek runs from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. - eight hours a day, 40 hours a week.
Maintaining consistent work hours is crucial for business operations, especially if your customers count on knowing when your business is open, such as a store. If possible, rethinking the traditional workweek and offering a four-day work schedule may be beneficial for your business.
Helps Attract Employees
Offering a four-day work week will set your business apart from competing employers. The Society of Human Resource Management reports only 15 percent of businesses offer four-day workweeks to their employees. This benefit can increase employee retention as well as decrease employee burnout. For small businesses with limited resources to offer bonuses and other incentives, this could be an effective way to attract talent.
A three-day weekend may be the perfect way to boost an employee's morale and work ethic. Employees would be able to maintain a strong work-life balance by working four days a week – making it possible for employees to spend more time with family, practice hobbies, and stay active. The employees will also have more time to pursue higher education, benefiting your business' work force.
Finally, the benefit of a four-day work week can also allow valued members of your staff, nearing-retirement, to ease into retirement, while maintaining their productivity. This flexible schedule allows companies to keep employees longer who are nearing-retirement.
Employees who might have retired earlier, now are offered more free time with family and their personal passions. This new allowance of time off work may encourage employees to stay longer and continue to be an asset for your company.
All businesses have different work requirements. Nevertheless, if there is room to adjust operating hours, your business may financially benefit from a different schedule. In fact, many businesses have found the four-day work week can minimize variable overhead and expenses.
Finding the best day of the week to eliminate from the work week requires time and creativity. Consider providing detailed communication with clients, conducting trial schedule weeks, and company research for the transition. Be sure to incorporate employee input into the process as you conduct these trials.
Challenges may arise within the transition, but the benefits of healthy and productive employees may be worth the obstacles. With an extra day off, employees will experience less burnout and more time to recover after a week of work. As a result, employees will likely take fewer sick days, resulting in greater productivity.
You can potentially adjust the pay each week if you offer a four-day work week. Should employees work fewer hours, employers will pay one less full day’s wage. These employees typically work four, ten-hour days rather than five, eight-hour days. Even if employees continue working a full forty hours, utility costs may also decrease. You may reduce energy and heating costs with the office closed one additional day. There will also be less day-to-day use of office supplies. Resource replenishment will be less frequent since resources will last longer.
Workers can also save money by having one extra day at home. Employees will no longer have to commute to work, saving on transportation costs. Individuals with children will have one less day to pay for childcare. Finally, employees can schedule personal commitments or appointments on their extra day off without needing to use paid time off.
A four-day workweek can help keep employees happy and healthy. Forbes author Jeffrey Bartel describes an employee study where 60 percent of organizations that utilize a four-day workweek also experienced higher productivity and improved mental health.
This extra day off allows employees to reenergize and recharge before the work week begins. Projects are often completed with higher levels of employee focus and work ethic. As a result, projects move forward faster and with fewer errors.
Employers may need to refresh their benefits as new generations are becoming the majority of the workforce. Many millennial workers prioritize having a work/life balance. To recruit and retain these younger employees, businesses may need to reevaluate workweek hours. Companies may find offering a four-day work week could be the best approach.
Worldwide, companies have found success with the four-day work week model. During a test of a four-day week, Microsoft's Japanese branch discovered 40 percent more productivity. Comparatively, the United States’ businesses are often increasing productivity; however, rise in productivity is often paired with an increase in working hours. Business owners must ask themselves: how can you harness an increase in productivity without a rise in working hours? This answer is unique to each company and employer.