Employee Engagement

5 Hour Workdays or 4 Working Days a Week?

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The five-hour workday

Science says that working for five hours a day is optimal to be more precise with your work. This productive formula prompts people in an office environment to work more efficiently without wasting their time lollygagging. 

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Some companies who have taken up this policy consider it one of the employee benefits since it increases their capability while providing shorter working hours. 

Some of the employee benefits include:

  • Reducing stress
  • More time for them to spend with their family
  • More time with friends
  • More time for self-productive activites and hobbies

The inefficiency, stress, and interruptions related to the usual eight-hour workdays not only contribute a certain percentage of the workdays as productive. However, a five-hour workday could be an efficient way to cope with the employees’ productivity and work satisfaction. 

This fact can be backed up by research. As per studies, five-hour workdays can increase the quality and quantity of work performed and employee productivity and satisfaction. Employees would arrive at work for a five-hour period with an unbroken flow.

Hour-long meetings can be reduced to 15-minute sessions, employees will be able to focus for the whole of the workday, and burnout issues will be addressed. Companies can analyse whether activities genuinely added value rather than working off indicators such as hours, calls, and meetings.

But this comes with a 🤷‍♀️ challenge as well.

The challenge is the ‘culture shock’. Culture shock is one of the most difficult problems. Many employees appreciate some informal time during the day to chat and interact with coworkers, have lunch or coffee, or establish togetherness through non-work activities.

The five-hour workday model is based on a highly focused work ethic with few interruptions, which might be tough for employees accustomed to unstructured time throughout the workday. On the other hand, companies developed methods to get around this by sponsoring after-work parties and meals, replacing more spontaneous office contacts with dedicated, off-the-clock time to mingle.

To make the most of their five hours, companies conducting trials had to rethink communication methods and more effectively allocate duties. They reduced their time on emails, cut meeting periods, established clear calendars and agendas, and turned off most notifications.

They saw fantastic outcomes as a result, and they began counting the quality of their work rather than the number of hours spent at a desk.

4 working days a week

A four-day workweek does not represent a compacted work schedule, but rather fewer hours. A four-day workweek is a relatively new concept, owing largely to recent technological advances. As a result, the individual would work approximately 28 hours over four days, with a three-day weekend.

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Several enterprises and countries have experimented with the four-day workweek. Management’s goal is to evaluate a proportional gain in production and morale when hours are reduced.

Overworked employees are less productive than those who work an average or typical work week. At the same time, employees who worked 4-days-a-week reported being happier, satisfied with the job, building good relations with the team, having a work-life balance, and being loyal to businesses. Employees were also less stressed as a result of this. 

A four-day workweek would also improve the workplace culture with positivity since people would be refreshed as they now have the freedom to spend quality time in their personal lives other than job obligations. Research has shown that a well-rested mind boosts endorphins, which helps one focus better at work. This, in return, would help businesses to not only boost in several ways.

A four-day workweek can result in happier and more committed employees. Employees are less likely to take sick leave because they have ample time to recuperate and be healthy. As a result, they return to work feeling energised and ready to tackle new problems.

Because of the numerous potential benefits, the campaign to establish the four-day week has remained somewhat relevant in the modern workplace. Although most of these employee benefits have yet to be shown, they primarily relate to greater cost-cutting, productivity, and work-life balance.

The assumption behind this is that by working or attending school one less day per week, employees or students will have more time to pursue hobbies, spend time with family, get more sleep, and boost general morale.

A four-day workweek does not automatically imply that employees’ salaries and benefits will be maintained. Many people misunderstood the concept of a four-day workweek and compressed hours.

Employees who are expected to work 35 hours per week but over four days will be less productive, influencing employee benefits, engagement, work-life balance, and overall happiness.

For a variety of reasons, not everyone agrees on a four-day workweek. They may, for example, enjoy the social elements of their professions or find their work so interesting that they do not want to do less of it. And some workers may find that a compressed week puts them under constant pre-vacation pressure to get more work done in less time—an unsustainable amount of stress.

It may affect customer satisfaction as well. Customers cannot access urgent affairs related to a government organisation, which would be closed on a Friday.

However, using technology, such as chatbots and AI-powered websites, could improve customer satisfaction by providing clients with another support route rather than relying on office-based staff personnel.

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Hi everyone! I'm a growth marketer at Plum Insurance. I specialise in crafting functional and structural articles for search engine optimisation. I joined the insurtech space in 2018 and have been writing ever since. Also, I'm fluent in intermediate Python 🐍 as well.