The 4-Day Week – The Pros and Cons for Employers
Jan 24, 2022
The 4-Day Week – The Pros and Cons for Employers
Jan 24, 2022

The 4-day working week has been getting a lot of publicity recently. With some companies signed up to a 6 month trial, and more companies embracing flexible working, what does this mean to you?

It’s been almost 2 years now since we all picked up our desks and relocated them into our homes. But now, as we approach the end of restrictions, the want to be back in the office is returning. However, not full time! According to a recent report, 57% of the UK workforce want hybrid working options. And rather surprisingly, and in a shift from last year, just 5% want to work from home full time. So, the physical workplace is making a return. And then the 4-day week conversation start!

We look at the pros and cons of a 4-day week and what it means for your IT teams.

PRO – The 4-day week and its impact on productivity

You may think that a day less in the office, means losing 8 hours of productivity. In the most cases, this is a total myth! Reducing the working week to 4 days has proven to increase productivity by as much as 40%! There have been numerous pieces of research and reports that support the reduction in the working week. The idea of having 3 days off during the week, instead of just 2, is to regain some work life balance. Your team are more refreshed, have better mental health and will be more productive as a result.

Did you know that the average person is only productive for 3 hours in an 8 hour day? 3 hours! This is the thinking behind a 4-day week. If your IT team is only being productive for 15 hours a week, cutting down to 4 days in theory makes them productive for 4 hours a day. You may think that this is a crazy concept. And we know that for a slim minority who can focus for 8 hours solid, a 4-day week just won’t work. However, for the vast majority it will.

TOP TIP – When someone is focused on their work, an interruption can cost them dearly. Did you know that when you are ‘in the flow’ and someone interrupts you, it takes you 23 minutes to get back into the flow? Whether it’s your emails, phone calls, or just general office chat, minimising interruptions will make your team more productive.

if you want to find out more about this subject, we highly recommend listening to the podcast – The Diary of a CEO with Steven Bartlett. In particular the session with Johann Hari on How to fix your focus and stop procrastinating.

developers

PRO – A key driver for talent retention and happiness at work

Flexible working has always been a key retainer. And none more so in IT teams, particularly when it comes to development roles. With reports of over 60% of UK professionals wanting to change roles this year, 24% site the lack of flexible working for their reason to move on. The labour market, and in particular IT, is experiencing a skills shortage like never before. The UK has lost over 600k people from its labour market, and this means that we need new ways to attract the best people to your business. Being able to offer a more flexible work pattern, or indeed a 4-day week is definitely a perk that will persuade people to not only join, but to stay with your business.

Introducing a 4-day week can also help increase loyalty within your business. When we have more time to do the things that we love, we become happier in ourselves. Therefore, giving your teams that extra time off will mean that they are more committed to you. Studies have shown that it also helps to reduce absence. Those long weekends really do have a positive impact on our wellbeing.

CON – It’s not for everyone!

The 4-day week is only possible if you business is able to adapt to this new way of working. How do you decide what day people have off? Is it all together, or would it be allocated on a rota. This is something to seriously consider. It won’t work for every business, just in the same way that it won’t work for every employee. Some employees are naturally more productive than others. Some are able to be productive for 7 or 8 hours straight! These are the people that a 4 day week would have a negative impact on.

They are your team members that will be more prone to working longer hours in the 4 days and increasing the likelihood of work-related stress. This is an important thing to manage as the wellbeing of your team should be a key priority in 2022. Longer hours can also mean that mistakes will be made too as people rush or get jaded from a long day.

Are you recruiting?

If you are recruiting into your IT team and want some insight and advice into how to attract the best candidates, get in touch. We’ve been helping companies attract fantastic IT candidates for over 20 years and we’d love to do the same for you. Get in touch with our team today on 0207 788 6600 / 01244 566 442

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