Will a Four-Day Working Week Improve Productivity?

The present argument for a four-day working week among many businesses has left others pondering the idea. Should they, too, cut working days to boost employee well-being and increase productivity? More importantly, can fewer days at the office produce the positive results people expect? Here are the potential pros and cons involved.

Pros

Enhanced motivation

Employees are likely to feel good about having more free time. As such, their motivation to work hard will increase. Happy people are said to be more industrious than less satisfied folks, so productivity should grow.

Improved lifestyle

Three, rather than two, full days and nights away from work leaves more time to enjoy long weekends with family and build a healthy social life. The knock-on effect could be greater well-being and better health since personal needs are better met

Increased focus

When employees know they have fewer days in which to produce results, they’re likely to concentrate on tasks. Applying greater focus should result in heightened productivity and effectiveness.

Improved prioritizing

Just as workers will increase their focus, it’s also probable they will tackle vital jobs first. They know they can’t afford to dither or spend much time on unimportant chores. As Tim Ferriss, author of ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’ stated on a podcast with Salesforce:

“The object is not to be idle. The objective is to maximize your per-hour output. There are a lot of fans who are, say, CEOs of big companies, people like Marc Andreessen. They clearly do not work 4 hours a week, but they would love to get 5X or 10X out of each hour they put in.”

Cons

Longer days

Although employees gain an extra day from work, the four days they are at the office will be extended. Presumably, rather than an eight-hour day including breaks, they will work ten hours. Initially, the last two hours might be a strain since they are used to going home to relax.

Unavailability

Your competitors stand a good chance of gaining your former clients. Customers might be unhappy about the four-day working week. As your business is shut, they may look elsewhere to meet their meets.

Increased demands

The demand to increase output will put pressure on employees to produce results. While this is good in some ways, it may also escalate stress and create workplace tension.

Lifestyle challenge

Employees are often delighted when they first hear of a four-day week. Their excitement soon lifts, though, when they realize it means they must work longer days. Their lifestyles undergo upheaval. They are unavailable in the evening to put their children to bed or enjoy family meals. Similarly, evening classes and social events won’t always align with days off.

Will a four-day working week be helpful? Possibly, but you must consider potential problems. The answer might be a shorter working week only suits certain businesses while leaving others less well-off.

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