It isn’t that common to see major change in the way businesses operate, in fact the last major change had been the introduction of a five day working week by Henry Ford on a widescale back in 1926 – but times are changing, and modern technology has allowed for a lot of change as remote working has been the latest to emerge with the growth of digital nomads and remote business as the latest information is here on the most prominent remote working changes. But, as the saying goes, change begets change and another adjustment had been suggested very quickly after the flexibility of remote work became available.
The introduction of the four-day work week has been speculated for quite some time, but the changes in business leading to a desire for 24/7 availability and next day delivery has made this option seem almost unattainable for many different industries – but as a growing number of trials have taken place in the UK and Iceland amongst other countries, it certainly looks like it could be a potential future for many. The latest to throw their hat into the mix have been Belgium, most recently approving both a four-day work week and giving employees the right to ignore their bosses after hours too, but is it as straightforward as simply making the change?
(Image from narcity.com)
It may all depend on the approach taken – the most common has been to simply work the same number of hours but split across four days leading to some 10-hour days – this approach had been done to keep the same productivity and maintain the same opening hours as staff would rotate which additional day off would be taken but had some great results with reports of improved productivity and employee happiness and satisfaction too.
The less common approach had been to simply cut hours down to reduce the working time – this could be done with pay remaining the same or a reduction, but has shown to be just as effective if the business is willing to reduce the hours it operates under and take the financial loss on that front too – either approach seems to work well based on satisfaction, but it’s likely only one approach will prevail as the preferred method given the balance needed for both the employer and the employee too.
It’s an exciting period of time for all hoping to get more work flexibility and to explore different options for a work life balance too, and whilst it may take some time before a 4-day work week is readily available, it does seem to be closing in on many to go hand in hand with remote options too.