It’s a Wednesday morning and I’m enjoying the slow pace of savouring my first coffee after surviving yet another successful morning sprint of getting the kids out of the house to start the day. But there’s one unusual thing about today, it seems a little empty….. I’m still adjusting to the absence of my Wednesday morning check in with my right-hand woman, KG.
This is something that I will need to get comfortable with because it’s not temporary. You see, as of 10 days ago we decided to move to a 4 day work week. KG’s initial response to the suggestion was “Yeah I saw the studies but thought, that’s only something companies like Google would do”.
Maybe I have gone a little loopy because we made this decision in what is probably the busiest time the business has ever seen. When KG’s days are already jam packed with new business calls and client onboarding, reducing her work hours by 20% seems to be the absolute opposite of what we should be doing right?
Well, actually, no. This is the perfect time to reduce the workdays. Let me explain.
You know those times when it feels like you just cannot get on top of your work. No matter how many hours you work or what time saving hacks you introduce, it still feels like you’re walking through mud. Doing that 5 days straight, only to have 2 days off that absolutely fly by is no way to live in my books.
When I first started out on my own, I named my company ‘Sunday Afternoon Pty Ltd’ as a constant reminder of that feeling of dread I felt every weekend knowing I needed to face another 5 days. This is no way to live and now that I’m fortunate enough to be an employer, I don’t want my team to feel this either.
Feelings aside, let’s look at the studies. Research of employees moving from a full time to 4 day workweek reported a 24% - 44% increase in productivity. It gets even better, if your team works inhouse, a 13% reduction of electricity and stationary costs was also reported.
Not only that, consider things like sick leave, dentist/doctor appointments are so much easier to be scheduled, what about mental health? Having that chance to refresh and recharge mid-week is better than any team motivational tactics.
Its time we start rethinking the 5 day work week. Times have changed since it was set back in the 30’s so lets follow the science and adjust to have a happier, more productive team.