According to a global survey conducted by The Workforce Institute (Kronos Inc), nearly 45% of 3,000 employees interviewed said it would take less than five hours each day to do their job if uninterrupted! More interesting was that 72% would work four days or less per week if pay remained the constant.

Three-quarters of workers crave a longer weekend!

So, what’s the solution? Do businesses in Australia trial the concept in order to cater to a shifting modern workforce. Do we need to reconsider how the work environment is measured by looking at indicators that include work life balance, engagement, organisational commitment and work stimulation? Or do management need to become more innovative about productivity with nine in 10 employees saying they lose time each day on work specific tasks unrelated to their core job, while 40% of employees say they lose an hour plus each day on administrative tasks that do not drive value for their organisation. So many questions but what are the answers?

“Workers say they have enough time, yet many still work overtime!”

Where do we start? Given the statistics organisations must help their people eliminate distractions, inefficiencies, administrative work to enable them to work at full capacity.

How do we do this?

Empower your staff by involving them in the process, encourage them to design processes that are productive and more efficient to those currently in place. This could include automating manual processes to reducing or eliminating non-work-related internet usage. When leaders coach, guide and support their teams to come up with their own productivity measures and rosters for ensuring excellent service I have no doubt your teams will feel empowered and motivated to succeed. If nothing else the offer to work 4 days a week at the same pay should provide motivation enough.

Why do this?

In a world where change is the new constant your people will still be your competitive advantage in business. We can all become more efficient with our workday, there is opportunity to remove administrative tasks and replace them with more impactful ones. More importantly the traditional workweek is potentially becoming obsolete in today’s business world, so it is necessary to evolve.

Who needs this?

This depends on organisations, businesses and owners. Employees do need more flexibility and employers should be supportive of an employee’s professional and personal life.  When employees get time to rest, they become more productive, creative, and healthier which ultimately leads to better outcomes for business.

So, what do you think? Is the 4-day week a viable and productive alternative to the current scenario? I think it is possible for some but not all organisations and as such you need to research and plan accordingly. Many businesses will continue to operate 5 days a week, so you need to cater for this. You will need to change your measurements of productivity from tasks completed to outcomes achieved. Be flexible and prepared to make refinements as you implement change, it’s never perfect the first time.

Simplicity sticks Complexity rejects, remember #HRrocks! #HRfortheModernWorld

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Author: wattsnext Group
The wattsnext Group blog is a compilation of ideas and expertise from the entire team, past and present with a few added gems from guest authors from time to time. With this collaborative approach, we can provide you with a broader perspective and high-level expertise across the small business landscape.