Is the four – day working week the right solution for your organisation?
A recent article published by The Guardian has reported that a hundred UK companies have signed up for a permanent four-day working week for all their employees with no loss of pay.
The idea being that a four – day working week will increase motivation, wellbeing, morale, employee engagement and productivity.
A four – day working week sounds highly attractive on paper and for those individuals looking for more flexible working arrangements to help balance work and child care, the four – day working week could prove an attractive talent and recruitment incentive.
So far the 100 companies who have invested in this new approach only make up 2, 600 employees, the largest of which include Atom Bank and Awin, a global marketing company which both have a headcount of around 450 employees.
Adam Ross, Awin’s chief executive, said adopting the four-day week was “one of the most transformative initiatives we’ve seen in the history of the company.
“Over the course of the last year and a half, we have not only seen a tremendous increase in employee wellness and wellbeing but concurrently, our customer service and relations, as well as talent relations and retention also have benefited.”
While fantastic to hear about the positive impact the four day working week has had on Awin, particularly in an industry which is often tarred with poor mental health of its employees due to the pace of work, the question remains – Is the four – day working week the right solution for all organisations?
If an organisation, for example, are looking to the four – day working week to reduce burnout how will that be achieved if people are already over stretched and departments under resourced?
Where employees in an organisations are regularly working long hours will a four – day week see people working even longer on the four days or continuing to work at weekends in an attempt to catch up?
Is the organisational culture ready to move to such a transformative way of working and if not, what would be the impact of adopting a four day working week?
The idea of working smarter and not harder, giving people more time to pursue the activities they enjoy and experience a greater sense of work life blend is one we wholly endorse. However, the success of any new initiative or policy is to lay the right foundation first from which to build on.
High rates of stress and burnout may not disappear over night thanks to a four day working week, and could make things worse in some cases. Think prevention over cure before jumping in with both feet!
Is the four – day working week right for you?
👉🏽 Think with the end vision in mind – What do you want to achieve by adopting a four – day working week?
👉🏽 How will you measure the effectiveness of this new way of working?
👉🏽 What will you see, hear and feel on a day to day level that lets you know that this approach has been a great success for your organisation?
👉🏽 What are your current key people challenges and why?
👉🏽 What needs to happen for the implementation of the four -day working week to be achievable and realistic? i.e. to prevent people working longer hours to get the work done
👉🏽 Are your business leaders ready to role model the four – day working week and lead by example?
Looking to implement the four – day working week? Changing the way you work also involves a change in mind set! The need to work smarter and not harder. Talk to us about how we can ensure your people have the right mindset to support their mental health and wellbeing and ensure the four – day working week is a phenomenal success for your business and your customers!