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Implementing an alternating four-day workweek: how & why

Kelly Lee
Digital Content Specialist
four-day workweek

As such, we determined to attempt providing an alternating four-day workweek to our workers. The outcomes have been encouraging so far, and we’d wish to share a few of what we’ve seen.

What’s an alternating four-day workweek?

The thought of a four-day workweek is nothing new, and it’s one thing some firms have been providing as an choice – or perhaps a required schedule – for years. Typically, which means the worker works 10-hour days as an alternative of eight, so the usual 40-hour workweek is accomplished in simply 4 days. That approach, as an alternative of two days off per week, the worker will get three.

An alternating four-day workweek is somewhat completely different. With this plan, the worker works 5 days one week, and 4 the subsequent. The time off might be Friday to permit for a three-day weekend each different week, however that’s as much as the person worker and employer. These extra days off present the worker with super flexibility to take further journeys, have interaction of their favourite hobbies, or no matter else they’d love to do with their spare time.

Why an alternating four-day workweek?

When the pandemic hit, we needed to transition our workforce from being in-office to being a totally distant workforce. It was actually all palms on deck to assist the corporate come via the pandemic unscathed, and our workforce hunkered down and helped us work out find out how to make our daily operations more practical as a distant workforce. This meant a lot of retooling and new course of improvement … and lengthy hours.

Working remotely could make work-life stability difficult and enhance threat of burnout. A current survey found that 69% of distant employees are experiencing burnout signs and 59% of distant employees are taking much less day off than regular. One other survey acknowledged that burnout at work doubled from March 2020 to April 2020.

Our speculation was that implementing this new perk would assist forestall burnout, enhance worker job satisfaction, and make our workforce really feel extra rested and finally, extra productive, at work.

Our important considerations

My major concern was guaranteeing that our purchasers and clients nonetheless had the extent of assist that they’ve come to count on from us. On the similar time, I didn’t need this effort to make it tougher on our assist workforce on account of any consumer frustrations or assist ticket backlog. It was vital to me that we nonetheless had sufficient protection for all groups and for all departmental tasks.

My secondary concern was ensuring that this new schedule wouldn’t forestall anybody from with the ability to do their job. I didn’t need this alternating schedule to create any pointless stress for workers that couldn’t get one thing accomplished as a result of a key stakeholder was out of the workplace. However, all of those considerations might be prevented with correct planning.

The way it’s been going to this point

We piloted this new program from April to June 2021, a full quarter. We then mentioned we’d ressas with management, and see if that is one thing we’d need to implement for the long run. As soon as the pilot was nearing the top, we despatched a survey round to our workforce to get their suggestions on this new work schedule.

Listed below are a number of key takeaways:

  • 100% of workers mentioned that they needed us to proceed providing this profit
  • 93% of workers have mentioned their productiveness has improved, whereas the opposite 7% mentioned their productiveness has been the identical
  • 85% of workers mentioned they really feel extra rested and happier at work

four-day workweek

Anecdotally talking, we additionally had a number of key learnings, together with;

  • It actually enabled higher habits when it got here to time administration and assembly scheduling. For instance, everybody appears to be extra considerate about scheduling conferences generally, in order to not waste time.
  • Lots of the workforce members use Fridays for “deep work” days, with no conferences or interruptions.
  • This has been an ideal perk to say to job candidates in the course of the hiring course of, and has been a deal breaker for a few of our current hires.

4-day workweek ideas for you

If it is a idea that you’re contemplating in your workforce, right here are some things to think about and ideas for implementation.

1. Attempt it as a pilot program first

I extremely advocate you “attempt it on” by first implementing it as a pilot or trial program, with a particular begin date and finish date, to see how your workforce and clients adapt to this transformation. This offers you the pliability of making an attempt it out earlier than having to totally commit. You could study that it’s nice and the whole lot is okay to maneuver ahead with it long-term, or it’s possible you’ll study that it’s essential tweak a number of issues.

2. Make any particular situations very clear

Guarantee everyone seems to be conscious of any particular situations or restrictions to this course of to set the appropriate expectations. For us, we didn’t require longer hours in the course of the week of their Friday off, however different firms do. So, if there are particular situations, make them very clear from the beginning.

3. Make the schedule clear and visual

Meet along with your workforce leads and schedule out everybody’s Friday off prematurely. Be certain it’s clear and visual in a shared calendar so everyone seems to be conscious of who’s and who isn’t “within the workplace” on a given Friday. This additionally helps the workforce suppose prematurely about any trip days which will overlap or massive occasions or conferences that want planning round.

4. Guarantee your leaders lead by instance

Main by instance is crucial not solely as a result of management additionally wants time to recharge, but in addition as a result of failing to comply with via with the method can ship blended messages to workers and will trigger anxiousness on whether or not or not they need to take the day off.

Matt Buchanan is the Co-Founder and Chief Progress Officer at Service Direct, a expertise firm that provides native lead technology options for service companies. He’s a graduate of Vanderbilt College. He has 15+ years of experience in native lead technology, gross sales, search engine advertising, and constructing and executing development methods.

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