The Pros and Cons of the Four-Day Working Week
Published: 22 March 2023
The Covid-19 pandemic led many workers and employers to rethink the importance of flexibility and benefits. Due to this, the idea of the four-day working week became a popular topic of conversation.
While it is commonly dismissed as “utopian thinking”, workers who have adopted a shorter work week are found to be happier and more productive. However, although trials have proven the concept to be beneficial for some industries, many are wondering whether the four-day workweek is suitable for everyone.
Improved Staff Morale
A Cambridge University study found a 65% reduction in sick days when employing the four-day workweek. With 71% of employees reporting lower levels of burnout and 39% claiming they were less stressed, the study proved to benefit both staff and employer morale.
The study also found that the four-day workweek led to a 57% fall in staff leaving their organisations. Due to recruiters offering potential and existing employees flexible working hours, employers can effectively attract and retain talented professionals, benefiting the company in the long term.
Not Suitable for All Industries
Unfortunately, the four-day working week model does not suit every sector, as some industries require a 24/7 presence. Sectors such as healthcare and hospitality are not structured to suit a shortened work week, making it an impractical option.
An Expensive Alternative
Sectors that require staff to work longer shifts could also find that the shortened week will lead to areas of the business having to pay overtime or draft staff in to make up for any shortfalls.
There has been further concern that staff will fail to meet work requirements. Despite the shorter working week, the number of tasks expected to be completed during this reduced time remains the same, potentially leading to a loss in profits.
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