The longer hours you work, the more productive you are.
Or at least that’s what we thought when we worked 60 to 80 hours a week pre-pandemic. Some even take it to the extreme and work 100 hours(!), leaving little to no time for other activities. The hustle (and the accompanying stress levels) just never seems to end.
Traditionalists measure employee contribution by how frequently they show up and how long they stay at work. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and we were all forced to re-evaluate that.
It has been more than a year since the WFH set-up became the new normal. We are now used to getting work done without even leaving our homes thanks to Zoom meetings, project management software, and other remote working tools.
And despite most companies’ initial reservations, remote work actually enabled the work force to be more productive. But what’s even more surprising is the growing number of companies all over the world that are now considering adopting a four-day work week as a result.
Why? Read on and find out about its surprising benefits:
Well-rested employees with healthy work-life balances tend to perform better than their overworked counterparts. Stress and fatigue among employees only lead to diminishing returns, especially over a prolonged period.
To prevent burnout, some companies incorporate an additional day off into the work week. In a lot of cases, this correlated with higher levels of productivity and employee engagement.
Take data from European countries like Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands, for instance. Here, the working hours average around 27 hours compared to the traditional 40 per week in most countries. Data from the survey revealed that employees had the highest productivity levels during the abbreviated work week across the board.
Talk about a win-win, right?
Greater Potential For An Equal-Opportunity Workplace
A four-day work week is especially beneficial for working parents, especially mothers. Despite more women in the workplace these days, they still tend to take on more childcare responsibilities compared to their male counterparts. Thus, they usually struggle with inflexible policies the most.
Having less working hours per week can close the pay and career advancement gap between men and women in the workplace. Less time at work means more time for other responsibilities, especially at home. Done well, this can result in more committed and motivated employees since they don’t have to choose between work and family so often.
It’s also worth noting that this policy would benefit parents in general. Single dads and hands-on parents of all genders, for instance, would also appreciate it.
Higher Levels of Engagement
Stress levels are at an all-time high, not least because of the constant fear of getting sick or losing a loved one to the virus.
It’s now more important than ever to look after your employees’ mental health, especially due to the boundaries between work and home blurring. Even if most of them are working remotely, a shorter work week can give them the freedom to rest and recuperate.
Thus, a four-day work week means your team would be less likely to file leaves or call in sick at work. And healthy employees are more engaged employees.
Cultivating an inclusive working environment and culture takes a lot of work. Sure, it helps to have good management practices as a reference. But it also helps if you don’t have to navigate the complexity of figuring things out on your own.
For more than a decade now, Remote Staff has been matching AU SMEs and entrepreneurs with skilled and professional Filipino remote workers. Best of all, we also provide continuous assistance and support in formulating and designing the best work practices for your unique needs.