Sometimes less is more – but is this the case when it comes to working?
A New Zealand based company, Perpetual Guardian, trialled a 4 day work week for 8 weeks. The trial was closely tracked by researchers at Universities in Auckland. They found that although employees trimmed their hours from 40 to 32 per week, they were actually 20% more productive. Employees took the initiative to increase their own productivity to counteract having fewer hours to work – they shortened meeting times and told colleagues when they were being a distraction in order to focus on work. Perpetual Guardian found the trial to be so successful that they made it a permanent option for its employees.
‘The Case for a 4-Day Workweek?’ found that only 19% of Australians are happy with the five day work week and 47% want a four day work week. With the rise of productivity software to improve efficiency, administrative tasks are being automated and less time is spent on inconsequential tasks. In theory, this should enable employees to opt into a four day work week without it affecting their volume of work.
However, not all industries can participate in the four day work week with ease. As a service provider, we at Logical want our candidates and clients to be able to contact us in all usual business hours and a four day work week would get in the way of that. Even if a roster was implemented to cover all business hours, the relationships with our candidates and clients would potentially suffer and time would be wasted handing over partly completed work.
A four day work week could increase employee satisfaction and see time used more efficiently however the risk could be expensive and it could end up damaging your business more than helping it succeed.
Would you prefer to work a 4 day week? How do you think it would affect your organisation?