Nowadays, most employers would probably dismiss the thought of introducing a four-day work week. Everybody is used to the fact that a work week lasts for five days, and reducing the number of days employees spend at work – and, consequently, lowering the amount time they spend in the office – should seem to cause a reduction in the output of produced goods or services, decreasing the profits of a company. However, this is untrue. Introducing a four-day work week without reducing the workers’ salary may be highly beneficial for both the organization and its workers, because it can help save time and money, increase the workers’ morale and job satisfaction, and decrease their fatigue and burnout, improving their productivity. The reasons for this are provided below.
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First of all, introducing a four-day work week should allow for saving resources of both the company and its workers. Having to work one day per week less means the absence of the need to pay the bills for the fifth day of activity. In the case of a four-day work week, there is no need to provide power, heating or conditioning for the whole premises of the company during the fifth day of work; employees who use the company’s cars do not have to do so; etc. This may be quite a considerable saving, especially in times when the company experiences financial difficulties. Workers also win in case of four-day work weeks; they have to spend 20% less time per week to get to work and to return home if they only have to go to work four times a week rather than five; their transportation expenses are reduced as well. On the whole, both the company and its workers can save resources if the work week is reduced to four days instead of five.
Second, it should be noted that introducing a four-day work week can decrease employees’ fatigue and lower their burnout rate, resulting in better concentration and productivity. Nowadays, employees often tend to get excessively tired at work. This reduces their focus, which has a detrimental effect on their performance. If the job is stressful and/or difficult, employees accumulate fatigue, and may eventually burn out. Introducing a four-day work week gives workers half again as many free days as they have with a five-day work week, greatly increasing their opportunity to rest. This can help them avoid fatigue and burnout, and stay energetic during their shifts, improving their focus and productivity, and helping them work more efficaciously.
Finally, employees who work four days a week while gaining the same salary should have better morale and increased job satisfaction, which is highly probable to improve their performance. Due to decreased fatigue, such employees can gain more pleasure from working. Also, working four days instead of five is much easier psychologically. Reducing the number of work days can make starting a work week significantly easier for the workers. A boost to the employee’s morale and job satisfaction should also allow them to work more effectively, probably doing the amount of work they usually did in five days only in four days. However, the employees’ salaries should not be reduced, or this may be perceived as a demotion, thus negating the boost to morale and causing the workers to seek additional sources of income.
All in all, it should be observed that introducing a four-day work week can provide numerous benefits for both the company and its employees. The organization can save resources (such as power) and gain less fatigued and more satisfied, effective, and loyal workers. Because the employees are likely to be able to do the same amount of work in four days, there is no reason to lower their salary; in addition, doing so can cause many benefits of the four-day work week to be negated. Therefore, introducing a four-day work week without reducing the employees’ salaries is highly recommended.