Are four day working weeks the way forward?

Over the last few years, discussions around the four day working week have become a more regular topic when it comes to the adaptation of the workplace. Due to this, many workplaces across the world have begun trialling four day working weeks within their organisations. The idea of reduced working hours as a way to improve work-life balance, eliminate burnout and increase productivity are just some of the many benefits of the four day working week.

What is a four day working week?

A very self-explanatory statement, a four day working week is essentially the reduction of the five day working week schedule down to four days, making way for a three day weekend. The key thing to remember here is that there is no reduction in earnings, with no impact on salary for employees.

What are the benefits of a four day work week?

You may wonder what the benefits of a four day working week might be, so it’s always important to remember to consider the pros and cons. So, how can a four day working week benefit your business?

  • Improving your employees’ work-life balance, allowing them to spend more time with friends and family and leaving them feeling more fulfilled.
  • Fewer incidents of burnout and reduced levels of sickness – having an extra day away from work allows employees more time to rest and recover.
  • Heightened levels of productivity – it has been seen that productivity levels have risen during the four day working week, with employees working harder so they can enjoy their time off without having to worry.

Are there any downsides to a four day working week?

Like many things in life, there may be instances where the four day work week may have drawbacks for your organisation.

  • A four day working week doesn’t suit every business. A four day workweek may not be practical for some businesses, it may be too difficult to adapt your current business model to make it fit a four day week.
  • Potential of longer days. Some companies may choose to extend working hours over the four days to ensure employees are still reaching their 40 hours, which in turn may cause additional stress and hinder the well-being and productivity of employees.

Should working become more flexible?

When it comes to working, it was proven over the COVID-19 pandemic that working can be more flexible and still incredibly successful when it needs to be. Organisations that were previously reluctant to allow more flexibility within the workplace were essentially forced into it to ensure their business stayed afloat during the pandemic. As remote and flexible working was proven during these times, many workplaces have opted to keep this concept going forward.

Creating a structure that provides employers the chance to manage blended working makes it more effective for both employers and employees. With the right structure in place, a flexible working environment can be easily achievable.

What is the long-term outlook for four day work weeks?

Four day working weeks have been trialled across the world, but what is the long-term outlook? When looking at the standard nine to five working weeks, it is becoming clearer that this structure is outdated and isn’t always the most productive way of working. The four day workweek may be the way forward for some organisations; however, it may not be the right answer for every business.

With more businesses willing to trial the reduced working week, it shows the adaptation of companies and their open-mindedness towards a more flexible work week. As time goes on, we may see more and more businesses moving towards this changing working environment.

Our thoughts on the four day working week at Cooper Recruitment

Here at Cooper Recruitment, we are always open to adapting the work-life balance for our clients and candidates. If you’re looking for a new position that is more flexible – one that really understands how to balance work and life to ensure success – we can help both candidates and clients find the perfect match. With a vast selection of job postings and businesses to work with, we are sure to create long-lasting partnerships. Don’t hesitate to let us help you on the road to success, give us a call at 0800 975 0079, we’d be happy to chat or if you’d rather you can use our Contact Us page on our website or send your enquiry via email info@cooperrecruitment.co.uk.

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