The 4-Day Work Week: Will It Really Work?
Let’s say at the beginning what we will say at the end. Yes, a 4-day work week really works. For both companies and employees.
It has been thought of as a dream for people who work five days or maybe more in a week. But, three day weekend is not unachievable anymore. It is the future of work.
There have been various four-day work week trials around the world, like in Belgium, Iceland, New Zealand, and the UK.
A four-day work week increases employee satisfaction, company commitment, and teamwork and decreases stress levels, which means more mental health. Moreover, these companies contributed to reducing the carbon footprints of their business.
Even better, reducing the work week to 4 days doesn’t decrease employees’ productivity or company output.
Then, how does this dream process work? What are the benefits of applying the four-day work week in your agency? Keep reading and see the how.
Why a Four-Day Work Week?
Let’s start with the basics. What is a four-day work week? Well, you work only four days and have a three-day weekend. Moreover, your salary keeps the same. It is hard to believe, right? But it really happens.
It is not a compressed work week. You don’t have to do all the work you can do in your five-days work week in four days. The work hours are not compressed but reduced. The employee earns one more weekend day, which can be any day in the week (mostly Friday).
Implementing a 4-day workweek is essential to stay one step ahead as digital agencies demand talent and remain competitive in the market. In addition, it offers a chance to attract more talented employees because a 4-day 32 hours workweek allows for a better work-life balance, a happier and equal workspace, and a boosted productivity.
As the surveys show, 63% of businesses found it easier to attract and retain talent with a 4-day work week, and this model makes employees happier and less stressed. So it is evident that there are certain benefits of reducing working hours and days a week and increasing weekends. Here are some of them.
An examination of the relationship and productivity conducted by Stanford University revealed a direct correlation between productivity and working hours. Overworking may result in less productivity for employees than those who work an average week.
In a workweek trial in New Zealand, a four-day work week enables employees to maintain the same productivity level and show improvements in job satisfaction, teamwork, work/life balance, and company loyalty. Also, employees experienced less stress, decreasing from 45% to 38%.
The four-day working week has seen success in trials. For instance, Iceland’s trial of shorter working hours was an “overwhelming success.” As a result, the country decided on a permanent plan for its public sector employees in 2021.
Moreover, fewer work hours increase productivity, as the numbers reveal. For example, the average work hours in the world’s most productive countries like Norway, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands, are around 27 hours a week – like proposed for a UK 4-day work week.
Better Employee Engagement
A 4-day work week can help you have happier, more contented, and committed employees. Employees will be less stressed, and they can recover their mental health as they have plenty of time to rest and relax. Then, they can return to work feeling recovered and ready to be creative.
From 2015 to 2017, Sweden conducted a study on a shorter work week. Nurses worked only 6 hours five days a week, meaning 30 hours a week. Fewer hours resulted in better health and mental well-being. In addition, they arranged 85% more activities for patients in their care.
Because employee turnover can be brutal for businesses, you don’t want to lose your talented and committed employees. A four-day workweek can make them happier and attached to your work. In addition, it will doubtlessly advantage your business in competition.
A Smaller Carbon Footprint
Implementing a four-day work week on our nature and ecology is a substantial positive impact. And it is an essential benefit nowadays when the climate crises show up.
For instance, a report published in May 2021 found that applying a four-day week by 2025 can slash the annual carbon footprint of the UK dramatically.
A trial in the US state of Utah showed the significant ecological effect of reducing the average work week from five to four days. During the first ten months, the project saved considerable energy costs and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by closing the large office building on Fridays.
An Equal Workplace
The work-life is still gendered, and women are still disadvantaged due to many factors. But four-day work week and fewer work hours also contribute to narrowing the gender gap.
The research shows that around two million people in the UK are not currently employed due to childcare responsibilities, and 89% are women. A 4 day work week can promote an equal workplace for employees because they would be able to spend more time with their families and handle their family responsibilities better and more equally.
Another survey revealed that two-thirds of employees agreed that work-life balance is the most significant factor in overall satisfaction. In addition, shortened workweeks enable parents to balance work demands and children’s responsibilities.
Agencies With 4-Days Work Week
Various agencies implemented and are still implementing a 4-days work week and saw the positive impacts on their companies. The typical comment of their managers and employees is that they all become more productive and happier. Let’s meet some of them.
The brand communications agency introduced the four-day work week to help improve their team’s work-life balance.
They think a more extended weekend encourages the team to develop their creative pursuits.
It is evident that reducing working hours and days increases company well-being and pleasure without sacrificing productivity or profits. Employees become more productive and happier when they have three-day weekends, and they recover themselves.
It is a marketing agency that implements a 4-days workweek without any salary cuts.
They say there is a tremendous positive impact of reducing work days on their agency. “I can’t think of any negatives when I think about the four-day working week,” says the Managing Director, Mitchel White.
You can read Mitchel White’s article about how Reward applied this model to their agency.
San-Francisco-based Bolt launched a pilot program in 2021 and decided to make this shorter week model permanent. As a result, the company became the first tech unicorn to try a four-day work week.
CEO Ryan Breslow says the trial had proven that this model increases employees’ productivity and engagement.
This digital agency is the other company that implements a four-day work week.
The CEO, Khuram Zaman, expresses the change in their agency: “I’ve been surprised at how it’s improved productivity. The team is more relaxed, happier, and focused when they come to work.”
Brandware Group is a marketing communications agency. It is testing a four-day workweek and sees the positive impacts of this work model.
Jim Taylor, the VP of comms, says, “So far, it has been a hit. There has been a notable difference in the energy level of our associates, and I think that’s owing to a better work-life balance.”
Reboot is an SEO agency based in the UK that prefers a four-day working week.
They give a three-day weekend with Fridays, keeping the team’s salaries and rights the same and not compressing the working hours.
The award-winning creative content agency Tribera implements a 4-days work week after their successful trial in the UK.
The employees work from Monday to Thursday with no change in pay or benefits. This arrangement allows them to achieve their ideal work-life balance while still accomplishing and delivering the agency’s incredible work.
So, you also should consider implementing a 4-days work week for your benefit. The results will surprise you. So, why don’t you have a try?
Additionally, you can see digital marketing positions that promise you creative and pleasing work life.