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Pros and Cons of the 4-Day Work Week

A lot has changed in the last few years for businesses, not just in terms of how work gets done but what they have to do to attract and retain top talent. The shifting needs and wants of employees didn’t begin with the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was certainly heightened because of it.

Today, companies are implementing changes to be more flexible and meet the needs of a diverse workforce. While remote work — in some shape or another — gets the most attention in this regard, another big trend is a shift to the four-day work week.

Does eliminating a full day of the typical five-day work week result in a considerable difference in employee recruitment and productivity? Below, we present some of the pros and cons of shifting to a four-day work week.

Pros of a Four-Day Work Week

While a lot of business leaders might be hesitant to switch to a four-day work week, there are some definite benefits of doing so — for both workers and the company.

Higher Motivation and Better Productivity

A decrease in a full day of work — or 20% of office hours — doesn’t equate to a full day’s worth of production lost. In fact, some companies have found that reducing the work week to four days actually resulted in significantly increased productivity — some by as much as 40%.

One of the main reasons for this is that employees are actually more motivated when they are able to work a schedule that either has reduced hours or even compressed hours. And, just like other perks, employees view a shorter work week as a benefit to them.

When employees feel motivated and taken care of, they’re more likely to be more productive.

Recruitment and Retention

Along the same lines, companies that offer a four-day work week as a benefit can really stand out from the crowd in terms of recruitment and retention. Post-pandemic, anything that can make a company stand out is something worth considering.

With employees willing to move to companies that are flexible, rather than just for a higher salary, a four-day work week serves as a solid way to draw people in. In the same vein, it serves as a great tool to keep people from leaving your company.

So, in essence, this benefit serves as a great way to attract top talent and keep that talent on your team.

Lower Costs

At the same time that your employees are being more productive thanks to the four-day work week, you’re also saving money. Fewer hours at the office often means lower costs for utilities and facilities maintenance. It can mean fewer printed pages, which means lower costs for paper and ink.

The benefit can also result in fewer hours missed at work due to employees being sick or coming into the office sick. Since they have more free time to schedule preventative doctor’s appointments, employees are better able to take care themselves.

Cons of a Four-Day Work Week

A four-day work week isn’t a slam dunk for everyone, despite the benefits listed above. Some of the potential drawbacks are listed below.

Scheduling Issues

Does your four-day work week mean everyone is off on the same day? Or, will you be staggering who is off on which days? Are you reducing everyone’s total hours worked, or will you be compressing their normal workload into four days?

There are a lot of scheduling questions that you’ll have to answer if you switch to a four-day work week, which provides not only extra upfront and ongoing work, but more opportunities for something to fall through the cracks. Companies need to ensure that they have the proper coverage for all of their customers and clients, and a four-day work week could compromise that.

Increased Productivity Isn’t Guaranteed

The increased productivity that some companies experienced with the move to a four-day work week isn’t guaranteed. What works for one organization may not work for another.

That’s a big potential danger of moving to a four-day work week — and perhaps one of the biggest concerns business leaders have. A reduction of one day in the work week could actually result in lower overall production, which could hurt the business more than it helps it.

Potential Additional Costs

Depending on how you organize the schedule, and what type of workers you have, a four-day work week could actually cost your company more money. If, for instance, you are compressing everyone’s schedule, you might end up having to pay hourly workers overtime once they hit eight hours in a day.

So, instead of paying your employees their standard hourly pay for 40 hours each week, you might end up paying two hours of overtime every day — or eight hours of OT total per week. Those extra costs can certainly add up.

Let Beckham Insurance Group Help You Decide if a Four-Day Work Week is Right for You

A shift to a four-day work week is certainly a popular trend in business today, but it’s also not for everyone. If you’re considering the shift, you need to analyze the possible benefits and weigh them against the potential drawbacks.

Companies in the South Carolina or Georgia area should work with Beckham Insurance Group to figure out whether this change in schedule would be beneficial to them. Beckham Insurance Group’s trusted professionals can also help you create the best benefits package for your employees so you can attract and retain the best talent on a consistent basis.

Contact us today to find out more.