Did you know 78% of employees say they don’t need eight hours to finish their day’s work? A 40-hour, five-day workweek was established during the industrial era of the early 1900s. Today, similar to how technology has increased efficiency and productivity, shifting to a shorter schedule can bring many benefits too. In fact, 60% of four-day workweek organizations saw increased productivity due to fewer meetings and greater staff satisfaction. That may be why more Canadian companies are starting to test out the four-day workweek, from an environmental nonprofit in Thunder Bay to a law firm in Victoria. Here are five benefits of a four-day workweek.
- Attract greater talent
- Feel more refreshed
- Cut costs
- Increase productivity
- Boost engagement
1. Attract greater talent
Work-life balance is now the number-one thing Canadians look for when job searching, with 32% citing work-life balance as their top priority, followed by 25% who cite salary as their main consideration. And 74% of office staff support a four-day workweek. When your company adopts this work model, it can make you stand out to candidates—especially candidates who may have limited childcare, are caretakers for a loved one, or who simply come from an overworked environment. When people see that your company truly cares about their work-life balance and is here to help them achieve their best, they’ll be more likely to accept your job offer.
2. Feel more refreshed
Having an extra day off means staff can pursue other interests and spend quality time with friends and family. Maintaining good work-life balance results in happier, more productive employees. With a three-day weekend, staff can come back revitalized and ready to take on the next four days refreshed.
Help staff make the most of their extra day off with an employee giveaway. Give them a Picnic-for-2 Tote so they can enjoy a lunch outdoors. Or an adult colouring book to help them destress. Staff will feel even more loyal as they’re reminded of your care and thoughtfulness.
3. Cut costs
With one fewer day at the office, your company can enjoy lower water, electricity, heating/air conditioning and other operational costs. Staff will also appreciate spending less on fuel or the transportation costs associated with a commute. What’s more, 62% of four-day workweek businesses saw fewer sick days, which can save your company money too. Your organization can reinvest saved costs back into the business to help it grow even more.
4. Increase productivity
When employees feel fresh and energized, they look forward to coming to work and get more done. One company saw a 40% productivity increase after switching to a four-day workweek. Another benefit is that staff who are given more time to themselves are less likely to have personal troubles affect their work. Encourage staff to use this extra time for self-care. An appointment book can help them make and keep important appointments, from wellness exams to therapy appointments to a massage.
5. Boost engagement
Feeling engaged with their work and team comes more naturally when employees aren’t burned out. Rather than stressing about getting work done, they can better focus on doing each task well. During a four-day workweek trial run, one company saw employee engagement rise 20%. Staff feel more loyal and have more space to think creatively, come up with ideas and better handle multiple aspects of their work.
Help staff appreciate their workplace—even when they’re home—with an employee giveaway. A Bamboo Coaster Set is a beautiful accent to any living room and displays your logo every day. A confetti travel tumbler is a fun travel mug they can use to start their day off right.
Challenges of a four-day workweek
While there are many wonderful benefits of a four-day workweek, there are potential disadvantages too. During a trial run, one company found that while some employees loved the four-day workweek, others felt it brought greater pressure and higher stress while stifling innovation. This may be more likely to happen when a 40-hour workweek is compressed into four days, creating 10-hour days. The principle of a four-day workweek is that people can get the same amount done in less time. Studies show people spend almost three hours not working in the average eight-hour day. Talk to your staff, track time and perform trial runs to figure out what works best for your team.
Embrace the four-day workweek
With benefits of a four-day workweek like attracting greater talent and increasing staff productivity, it’s easy to see why many companies are forging ahead on this exciting path. Best of luck!