The four-day workweek has been a popular topic of conversation since the start of the pandemic when workers largely embraced the transition to remote work. Since then, employers have entertained creating a shorter workweek and employees have asked for it.
For many, the shift to remote work in the early days of Covid meant more flexibility. From changing wake-up times in the absence of commutes to longer working hours since the office was just down the hall, employees adjusted to work on their terms.
But the newly remote workforce wasn’t without its challenges. The distinction between standard work hours began to blur. With workstations more easily accessible and quarantine fueling the need for any kind of connectivity (hello, Zoom), nine-to-five no longer defined working hours.
Now that the pandemic is in the rearview and companies are reassessing their post-pandemic workforces, the four-day workweek is not off the table for discussion, particularly when you account for the increase in burnout among employees.
So, what’s next?
Results from the first large-scale study plan on the five-day week might provide promising solutions.
The 10-month study tracked 33 businesses in the U.S., Ireland, and Australia that cut an average of six hours of work from employees’ schedules without changing compensation. The businesses reported improvement in areas that included sales, productivity, and well-being — with revenues rising to 8 percent.
Is the four-day workweek here to stay? Employers challenged with talent retention and employee engagement might be wise to consider decreasing work hours to avoid burnout and attrition.
Learn more about the study here.