The Pros and Cons of a 4-Day Work Week

The topic of a four day work week isn’t new to social media conversations. More and more people are discussing how to achieve the ultimate work-life balance, demanding help from employers to achieve it.

Despite those companies trialling a four day week reporting plenty of benefits, there are still those hesitating to try it out. Hardly surprising if you’re the owner, and worried how it might affect your business!

The benefits of a 4 day week

Greater staff retention

Offering employees a four day working week when many others aren’t matching that can be a huge incentive for employees to stick around. It means less spending on recruitment costs for you, and better continuity for the business.

It won’t be a magic fix if staff retention is a serious problem – usually indicating issues which need to be urgently addressed, but a four day week can help.

Reduces burnout and stress

If burnout is a common part of your office culture, you are no doubt already suffering the effects of this. It could be a reduced work output across the board, lots of sick days, or perhaps distracted staff members affecting workflow.

Burnout is common in stressful positions but anyone can feel it at some point. A four day work week gives your staff three days away from the office to recharge and come back to work refreshed and well-rested.

The downsides of a 4 day week

You may struggle with workloads

If your business shuts its doors three days a week, this may make the four days you’re open much busier and more stressful!  The opposite effect than the one you were after.

It may affect your customers

If there’s no one to answer queries or provide services on the extra day that you close, you could be at a disadvantage to other companies who are open five days a week. Something worth considering before you make any leap to reduced opening hours.

Solving the 4 day week for business

Rotational arrangement

Just because staff work a four day week, doesn’t mean that the business has to. A rota means there’s always staff coverage when it’s needed, whilst still affording them the longer break.

Longer working hours

If you want to take one day off a week, you may find it beneficial to extend working hours on the other four days. However, be cautious with this approach because it could affect staff retention. Remember, your employees will need this arrangement to fit in with their own family life, including school pickups and other responsibilities.

Try a shorter fifth day

If giving up a whole day is out of the question, try reducing the working hours on your last day of each working week. A half-day is always a winner.

Any solution you come up with has the risk of making things a bit more complicated. However, if you think it will improve staff happiness and efficiency, then it might be worth trialling. Make sure you ask others for advice or even get ideas from staff members. It will affect them the most after all.

Are you undecided about the four day working week model? Have you tried it before and if so, how was it? Let us know in the comments.