A 4-day week may be closer than you think…

How do you feel about working a 4-day week!?

It may sound like a dream but with many companies trying to retain and attract the correct employees, there is an increasing effort to not only boost efficiency and productivity but a need to accommodate employees.

There are several industries that fall into this category such as IT, sales, marketing, accounting and medical. Whilst this shift is nothing new, there is greater effort to make the change happen as employers realise that office time does not equate to higher productivity levels in all cases.

Recently, a company in New Zealand trialled a 4-day week for a period of 2 months and after great success now plans to make it a permanent fixture. Many well-known business owners and entrepreneurs seek to do this… Apple and Google are two companies that are known for their staff flexibility. Recently, Richard Branson spoke about how increased flexibility has really improved productivity within Virgin.

According to FlexJobs’ Rachel Jay, a career writer, it could be a “boom” for workers’ productivity, providing them with “longer stretches of uninterrupted time to work”.


What happens to the 5th day?

An extra hour or two added to the other 4 days would enable little time to be lost, however, there is no set-in-stone plan for how this would materialise. One issue could be that certain employees may struggle to adapt to this new working schedule and this may cause friction between employees. Different industry professionals may struggle more than others, for example, medical professionals will find it a lot more difficult to adjust than technologists. Open communication as stated by Lindsay Grenawalt (the head of people at Cockroach Labs, a New York) open communication is very important when working flexibly. Being upfront about the work level expectation for the 4 days will help to eliminate friction and misunderstanding.

Working towards making the workplace more distraction-free place will help to make the 4-day week more productive, this can be achieved through noise-canceling headphones and LED lights at each desk showing whether people are busy or available.