KMW Invests in Staff with Four-Day Workweek
The modern workday has changed exponentially with the turn of technology. Our days are now easier, our time is better managed, and our workload looks much different than it did a hundred years ago. With all these changes in mind, it only seems natural that the modern workweek should adapt with the modern workday. It is for this reason that the offices of Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh have instituted a four-day workweek for our staff. Staying ahead of the changes in society has benefited the needs of both our staff and our clients.
What Are the Benefits of a Four-Day Workweek?
The typical Monday to Friday work schedule was established during the 19th Century when most people worked factory jobs. The grueling physical labor was constant and this schedule made sense for trying to get the most production out of workers. However, we have such a variety of jobs today that longer working hours do not always equate to more productivity. In 2020, many employers are considering the use of their employees' time in comparison to the productivity they yield. With the increase in population, there are more people to complete more jobs. The responsibility of one major job hardly ever exists on just one set of shoulders anymore. Companies that have moved to four-day workweeks are noting the following benefits to their new schedules:
- Healthier Employees. Studies have shown a shorter workweek reduces stress in employees. With an extra day off, individuals have more time to schedule regular medical appointments which promotes a proactive and healthy lifestyle. The extra day off also provides an additional 24 hours for employees to now devote to themselves or to their families. A traditional weekend of two days can be plagued with the anxiety that comes with trying to fit in all of one's leisure activities and errands into such a short amount of time. However, an extra day off alleviates that pressure and allows employees to truly enjoy their time spent outside the office.
- Reduced Costs. Microsoft piloted a four-day workweek in Japan last August. Reports show that the use of electricity went down by 23% and the amount of paper printed went down by 59%. It is no surprise that a company would save on costs and resources by cutting down the workweek, but the long-term numbers could prove to be quite the financial gain.
- Recruitment. A four-day workweek is an exceptional draw when pulling in new hires. Several new positions offer roles that can easily be done at home some, if not all, of the week. We have seen a cultural shift where personal health and traveling are both highly desired, so many recent graduates are gravitating toward a schedule that would support those goals.
- Retention. Not only does a shortened workweek appeal to potential hires, but it also boosts morale and company loyalty. Since this is not the traditional schedule, it is also not a common option yet. Many people would not consider leaving a four-day week schedule because they know how unlikely it is to find a comparable schedule. Also, a shortened workweek reduces the stigma of asking for time off. Many employees prefer an extra day off that is extended to the entire staff than to ask for an individual day off from a traditional five-day week. Having the extra day off built into the week removes the attention it would draw on an individual basis. No one likes to appear as if they are less than committed by asking for time off, no matter the reason. If a current employer already offers this shortened week, it would be hard to give up the long weekend and take back up the stigma of putting in a time-off request.
- Productivity. Research shows we have been wasting most of our 8-hour workdays with meaningless distractions. On average, most work can be completed in five hours or less when working without disruption. Most employees spend an unnecessary amount of time responding to emails, answering phone calls, and personally using their cell phones. The Harvard Business Review reports the average employee touches his or her smartphone about 2,617 times a day, and this number increases for avid smartphone users. Imagine the amount of work you could get done without the temptation to be distracted. With a four-day work week, you become more aware of the time you have, and it forces you to be more deliberate with that time.
What Are Your New Office Hours?
Contrary to popular belief, a four-day workweek can still include a total of 40 working hours. Our staff still achieves a 40-hour workweek by working four 10-hour workdays.
Our offices are open and staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.