The year 2020 has changed life as we know it. We have worked around the clock to meet deadlines and attend meetings. A lot of the time, personal space was invaded upon. Most of us were pushed to the breaking point and, our mental health was in shatters. It was the year we realized and valued the little things in life. The term ‘great resignation’ gained momentum and drove a large number of the workforce to quit. Companies, therefore, had to find ways to lure their employees, to find new strategies to accommodate and prioritize the needs and demands of their employees.
In came the concept of a 4-day workweek. As the name suggests, employees would be working for 4 days with the same number of working hours and 3 days off. Here the pay remained the same as well. The idea behind this was to increase productivity, but not at the cost of burnout. Majority claim that with the onset of technology, the four day work week would seem ideal, as work could be completed much more efficiently within a shorter period. New Zealand and Russia are pushing for this model to be of reality.
An unequivocal advantage of this model has been reduced stress levels among employees. It gives them more time to unwind and relax. A relaxed employee guarantees higher productivity in the workspace. It also guaranteed a better work-life balance among individuals as it gave them an ample amount of time to experience and appreciate things.
Research has shown that having a four-day workweek ensured better attendance among employees, as they were unlikely to skip work over petty reasons. It is also an eco-friendly option as it reduces carbon footprint due to reduced office hours. A 4-day work model is also ideal for small businesses that cannot afford to increase the paycheck of their employees.
However, not every industry can afford to switch to this model, the main example being, the healthcare industry. Also, there might be an opinion of not using the entire potential of the workforce as well. Customer service might also reach a standstill because of such implications.
Though the concept of the 4-day week model is not entirely new, a number of employees especially the ones who are in their 50s, might find it difficult to switch to a new working model, which could also result in a disengaged workspace. It would also decrease the quality of time employees spent interacting with their colleagues thus killing workplace culture. It would also mean fewer hours spent in celebrations and frolic.
With world leaders pushing for this model to be a reality as well as companies having a test run with this, it looks like 4 day work week is here to stay. A shorter workweek would push for things to be done more efficiently as well as quickly. It would also ensure a well-balanced work and life, and a less ‘taking work home’ phenomenon.
Companies would have to find innovative methods to ensure work gets completed on time without calling for extra hours or days. 4 day work week would also reiterate teamwork, as less time at hand would eventually translate to work getting on a shorter span but with more hands. There will be a lot of unlearning as well as new things to learn on the go, but ultimately a 4-day workweek would priorities the well being of the employee and would have them at the epicenter at a company.