Increase productivity and reduce costs with a four-day work week
A four-day workweek is a workplace arrangement whereby employees work four days per week rather than the customary five. Typically this involves having Monday or Friday off and having a three-day weekend (every week). Usually, 38 hours of work per week spread across four days. Some employers have taken this further and enacted a 32-hour workweek (combining a four-day workweek with an eight-hour day).
The benefits of the four day work week include the following:
- It increased employee productivity. In 2019 Microsoft trialled the four-day workweek in Japan and found it lifted productivity by 40%. Versa (an Australian digital marketing company) implemented a Wednesday-off model for its employees, increased revenue by 46%, and tripled profits within the first twelve months.
- Reduced operating costs. Office rental costs, electricity, printing, and telephone all fall by 20%.
- Refreshed employees, which makes working or learning more productive.
- Employee engagement increases and reduces stress levels.
- In societies, environmental costs are reduced due to less travelling.
How to implement a shorter, more productive work week:
- Schedule three to four hours of continuous, undisturbed deep work each day. Carl Newport, best-selling author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, says, ‘this is all it takes to see a transformational change in our productivity and lives’.
- Measure productivity, not hours worked.
- Avoid switching between tasks constantly. Otherwise, the dreaded cognitive switching penalty will leave you exhausted with little to show for it.
- When working, turn off your email and only check it every few hours. Adobe has found that the average employee checks their email 74 times daily and spends 6 hours on email.
- Avoid checking social media accounts when at work. The average person wastes 20% of all their time online on Facebook, news, Instagram, etc.
- Implement the Pareto principle, and only focus on the 20% of your tasks that will create 80% of the value.
- Eliminate or reduce meetings – 95% of sessions add no value.
- Automate any process-driven tasks.
- Outsource or delegate any task that can be done by someone else cheaper and better.