Companies that don’t evolve become extinct. With technology creating incredible opportunities to improve efficiencies, there is no reason to cling to outdated practices that bog down your systems and employees. As the world continues to rapidly change, organizations that aren’t able to adapt will lose employees and customers to businesses that understand how to maximize today’s cutting-edge technology.
If technology is saving so much time, where is that time going?
As leaders leverage technology to optimize productivity, they recognize that they also need to transform their work structure. Rather than expecting employees to fill the time with busy work, leaders are discovering the benefits of a four-day work week.
A 4-day work week offers an array of incredible benefits, not only for your business but your employees as well. As a leader, if you are considering taking the leap into a shorter week, it is important to deploy foresight to make the most of the transition. This could begin by hiring a work-life balance speaker who can offer strategies to increase productivity within a 4-day workweek structure and improve work-life balance for your employees.
Why Leaders are Starting to Discover the Benefits of a 4-Day Work Week
Over the past few years, the way we work and live underwent an unplanned and unbelievably drastic transformation. As businesses scrambled to stay afloat and remain relevant in such extreme circumstances, leaders had to throw many outdated practices and systems out the window and start from scratch. The benefits of a four-day work week have been discussed for decades, but it wasn’t until the pandemic forced many companies to adopt remote work that leaders truly began to recognize its potential advantages. Not only did businesses discover that modern technology can support their team in countless ways, such as allowing employees to do more in less time, they also recognized how critical a healthy work-life balance is for employees and their bottom line.
A 4-day workweek gained popularity in recent years as a way to improve work-life balance and employee wellbeing. More than 60 companies in the UK experimented with a four-day work week and the outcomes revealed that it has the potential to raise productivity, enhance resilience, and decrease stress, fatigue and burnout among workers. As employees and leaders learn that it is not always necessary to sit in an office for 8 hours every day in order to complete their tasks, a desire for more flexibility began to emerge.
As more businesses experiment with a shorter work week and share the subsequent positive results, there is a strong likelihood that this trend will continue to gain momentum.
5 Benefits of Working Less that Surprises Leaders
Many senior leaders grew up in an era where hard work (i.e., working at least 40 hours every week) was applauded and rewarded. Shifting your mindset and embracing the concept of working less to achieve more is challenging but worth the effort because many leaders around the world are amazed by the many benefits of a four-day work week as they tried it in their own organizations.
1. Improved Work-Life Harmony
As the world shifted and settled into a new normal, employees began to place even more importance on creating a healthy balance between work and life. It is vital for leaders to encourage this healthy work-life balance, or as I like to call it, work-life harmony.
With so many of us working in the same space we live in, creating clear boundaries is even more critical. The standard five-day workweek can be grueling, leaving little time for anything but work. Even the two days off can be spent thinking or stressing about work. Without the opportunity to truly recharge, employees can feel overworked and stressed, which leads to exhaustion and burnout.
Implementing a shorter work week demonstrates to your employees that their wellbeing is paramount to you. Offering your team an extra day off every week allows them the opportunity to engage in self-care activities, such as exercise and rest, spend time with loved ones and engage in activities that bring them joy.
Offering your employees the chance to recharge is one of the best strategies for building the resilience needed to bounce forward through challenges. Feeling overworked increases stress and lowers resilience, which ultimately lowers productivity and creates a negative work environment. Shortening the work week will help improve your team’s resilience, enhance productivity and cultivate a workplace culture that puts the wellbeing of employees first.
Implementing a 4-day work week in your company will help your employees establish a work-life harmony that fits their individual needs, which will increase job satisfaction and engagement and ultimately result in a greater sense of fulfillment, both personally and professionally.
2. Increase Productivity with a 4-Day Work Week
It may sound counterintuitive, but working less can actually help you accomplish more. The extra day off gives your team the time needed to recharge and refresh so they can return to work with the energy, focus and motivation needed to improve performance and productivity. Offering a 4-day work week is also one of the best strategies for building the resilience needed to tackle difficult tasks or situations at work.
Another unexpected benefit of a 4-day work week is that it motivates employees to prioritize tasks more efficiently. With one less day to complete their work, it is more likely they will remain focused and productive, rather than procrastinating, completing unnecessary steps or doing busy work. Eliminating tasks that waste time by utilizing AI in the workplace will also reduce your team’s burden and give them the freedom to tackle more meaningful and fulfilling tasks while lightening their workload at the same time.
This level of effectiveness fosters a culture of productivity.
When your team feels empowered to streamline processes and focus on what is important, they will seek ways to work smarter, not harder. This will spark innovation and collaboration as your team works cohesively to think outside the box and accomplish goals more efficiently.
3. Reduced Absenteeism
When individuals are given an additional day every week to rest, recover and handle personal responsibilities, they won’t need to step away as often during their scheduled work hours. This extra time helps establish a better balance between their work and personal lives, resulting in less crossover between the two. Your team will feel empowered to focus only on their tasks when at work, knowing they have sufficient time to devote to their personal lives outside of their scheduled work hours.
Prioritizing work-life harmony as a leader can have a significant impact on reducing stress and strengthening resilience among your team members, which will result in greater wellbeing overall. Offering flexible work arrangements and giving your team autonomy to manage their own time demonstrates your belief in them and your wholehearted dedication to their health and happiness.
You will be handing over control to your team of their own productivity, which creates a sense of pride and belonging, cultivating a workplace culture of trust, respect and positivity.
4. Working Less is a Key Strategy for Building Resilience and Improving Wellbeing
One of the best ways to combat the effects of burnout and stress in the workplace is to offer resources that help employees build resilience, such as a four-day workweek. A shorter work week allows your team the opportunity to rest and recharge, which will help elevate their energy levels, resulting in greater productivity. Having time off to focus on self-care and activities that bring joy is invigorating and your employees will return to work engaged, focused and ready to apply their best effort to every task.
As the leader creating a strategy for transitioning to a four-day work week it is important to gain the insight of an expert, not only to support your efforts but also to teach employees how to best manage their time. Inviting a resilience keynote speaker to your business conference will educate your team on how to unlock a work-life balance that matches their lifestyle.
Engaging a resilience speaker will also demonstrate that you are invested in your employees and support their development and growth. Showing your team you value them will enhance their motivation and foster skills and traits that will ultimately benefit the entire organization.
5. Environmental Benefits
Leaders are also pleasantly surprised by the unexpected benefits a shorter work week has on the environment. By reducing the number of days employees work, organizations are able to minimize their carbon footprint. With the office closed for longer periods, energy consumption for lighting, heating and cooling systems is reduced, which significantly decreases energy usage, lowers greenhouse gas emissions and helps the organization’s bottom line.
Leaders who embrace a 4-day workweek are creating a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly workplace, making a positive and profound impact on the community and world.
How to Implement a Successful 4-Day Work Week in the Workplace
Ready to discover these five surprising 4-day work week benefits in your workplace? It’s time to implement a four-day workweek. As with any new initiative, gaining buy-in from your employees, creating a plan for implementation and engaging a professional to share their insight, knowledge and experience is critical.
This is where a work-life balance speaker comes in. Hiring an expert to guide you and your team through every step is key to maximizing a remarkable opportunity to create a successful organizational transformation.
Be the leader who helps your team work less to achieve more.