In recent surveys of organizations facing workforce challenges, between 62 to 67% of their employees reported experiencing various levels of burnout much of the time. Among the remedies organizations have considered in response to this issue include 4-day work weeks and remote/hybrid work schedules. While the remote work option has a high level of popularity and has been implemented in many organizations, the 4-day work week remains an underutilized opportunity.
In organizations where employees must be present to perform needed tasks, the four-day work week option can be used to address the remote work requests employees want. Also, the introduction of four, nine-hour days versus the traditional four, ten-hour days has helped boost the shift to a four-day work week schedule. Studies have shown that employees can generally adapt to a nine-hour day without making major changes at home, while the move to ten- hour days require some significant modifications that often do not go well in the long run. When presented as an employee benefit, the additional four hours of free time can be viewed as a wage increase without adjusting the hourly rate.
If employers adopt a revised four-day work week schedule, it requires conversations with workers regarding performance expectations and workload measurements. When employees view the change as needing to get the same amount of work done in a shorter time, it creates unwanted stress. Employees need to know the same five-day standards are no longer part of employer expectations. The best employee retention strategy around this change is to work with the employees in developing new standards and measurements.
One of the best ways to measure the success of a revised workforce schedule is to ask your customers. Use customer feedback from before the change was made, and customer feedback after the switch. Reward your workforce for improved customer satisfaction and challenge them to reach higher standards through some type of incentive.