Many businesses are stumbling when it comes to retrofitting their operations to survive and thrive well into the disruptive 21st century. Countless entrepreneurs and business owners have invested untold thousands into modernizing their businesses, but often don’t have anything to show for it. More often, these business professionals are beginning to throw up their hands and concede that their businesses can’t be transformed into more effective operations.
As a matter of fact, however, there’s still one concrete way that you could transform your business for the better. By considering the adoption of a 4-day work week, you could drastically improve your business by improving the efficiency and morale of your employees in one swift move.
History has shown us this works
Before we begin talking about the specific benefits of a 4-day work week, it’s worth reviewing history thus far to examine whether such initiatives have been successful in the past. A brief review of how human beings labor shows that, indeed, lessening the amount of time we work doesn’t have to come at the cost of productivity. 7-day work weeks were once the norm, for instance, excepting for occasional holidays and eventually holy days. Despite the fact that workers have gained more time off in the past century than the rest of human history combined, however, they’ve not lost any productivity – they’ve actually improved it. This is because they can use this time to enhance their career by taking a PMP course online or any other course.
You need not look to history for proof that less can produce more, though. Take a look at the modern day in Europe, and you’ll see a number of staggering examples where countries that have shorter and more infrequent work periods nonetheless beat out their neighbors when it comes to productivity. Germany, for instance, has a famously productive economy and workforce that accomplishes more than most other EU member states despite the fact that Germans work shorter hours and take more vacations than many of their neighbors.
It should go without saying that the German model can be translated to other economies, especially if the entrepreneurs and small business owners instituting changes realize just how beneficial shorter working hours can be for their business. By learning to empower your workers with more time off so that they’ll be recharged and eager to work when they do eventually walk into the office, you’ll retrofit your labor force overnight for the betterment of your company.
Some business owners will be skeptical of any change, however, and insist that their domestic culture and workforce is different. An analysis of U.S. workers found similar results to studies in Europe, however, indicating the simple fact that human labor is universally more efficient when the workers in question aren’t stressed out and pushed to their physical limits. Productivity begins to lag after a 50-hour work week, and after 55 hours, it all but disappears.
It’s time for a 4-day work week
If history has shown us one thing, it’s that we’re long overdue for a 4-day work week that will help our workers thrive by giving them more time to recharge, reflect, and prepare themselves for a hard day’s labor. At the heart of the 4-day work week strategy is the recognition of the fact that labor shouldn’t come at the expense of human well-being, but rather should be focused on improving human wellbeing at all times. If our businesses forget to take care of their workers, our businesses will fail – and they’ll deserve to.
Similarly, if history has demonstrated that treating your workers right is beneficial to businesses, it’s also proven time and time again that technological changes must force companies to adapt or die out. With the rapid rise of the digital workplace continuing to take place across the globe, it’s easier for employees to work remotely now than ever before. Because of this, companies should be taking advantage of modern technology and encouraging and even supporting their workers when it comes to working remotely, especially if the benefits of such remote work can be easily proven.
Forging a successful remote work team is no easy task, however, and most modern businesses are struggling to deal with the flood of innovations we’ve seen over the past few years. Adapting to new trends is an essential part of surviving in the business environment, however. Thus, managers and business owners who are struggling with the digital revolution can review common practices that make remote work operations successful. If you’re not arming yourself with knowledge before trying to digitize your operations, you’re dooming yourself to failure.
A 4-day work week isn’t nearly as insane as many business owners make it out to be. A brief review of productivity also illustrates that giving your workers plenty of time to recharge guarantees they come into work energized and ready to succeed. A 4-day work week could transform your business for the better, so get started discussing one with your employees and managers if you’re serious about the future.
A social media marketing executive and entrepreneur, Alex has led the marketing divisions of some of the UK's leading advertising and PR firms. He specializes in usng the power of big data and business analysis to deliver actionable metrics.
As manager of a large team of digital marketers, Alex is responsible for delivering the training and development of his entire department. He emphasises standardizing procedures and creating an immersive on-boarding process as key to bringing new members to your team.
Outside business, Alex is a keen videographer and music producer, living and working in Brighton, UK.