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  • Sandrina Gomes Teixeira

The 4-day week: advantages and disadvantages

The 4-day week is a system that is being implemented by more and more companies. The objective is to offer an extra day of rest to employees so that they have more time to take care of their personal life.

Implemented by companies such as LDLC, Welcome To The Jungle or Elmy, the four-day week is becoming more and more attractive. But a dilemma persists: should we reduce the number of working hours of employees or should we increase the daily hours? Because employees' pay should not change, even if it can be a bit restrictive for employers. Working four days instead of five could nevertheless boost employee productivity.

The benefits of a four-day workweek

The first benefit of a four-day workweek is reduced burnout. Employees have an extra day off and can take that time to do their own thing. This can allow them to establish a balance between their personal and professional lives. It can also result in increased commitment and satisfaction. The employee is more determined to go to work.

According to some companies, there are also fewer sick days, as employees tend to take better care of themselves with an extra day off. It can also mean energy savings for companies, which close for an extra day. The four-day week also represents the creation of new jobs: some people can alternate their days off with other colleagues to get the job done efficiently.

The disadvantages of the four-day week

Of course, there are downsides to the four-day week. It will be difficult to determine whether to spread the hours of work over four days or simply reduce the hours of work for employees. Employment contract regulations can be a real barrier. Income challenges as well, as employees will be working less, but will need to earn the same salary.

The four-day week is relatively complex to implement. It can also be difficult to compete if the competition does not prioritize the four-day week. Reduced hours also mean increased labor costs, which can be difficult for a start-up company. Operational costs and employee disengagement are also risks that can arise. In addition, the practice is not necessarily well perceived by the general public.

Precautions to take when implementing the four-day week

If a company wishes to implement the four-day week, a few precautions must be taken. Obviously, it is necessary to prioritize and re-evaluate the tasks of the employees: they will have to concentrate on the most important ones in order not to waste time. Meetings will also have to be less recurrent and shorter, more concise, as we tend to waste a lot of time on them.

Defining precise and achievable objectives in four days can allow employees to better organize themselves in a shorter week. You will have to trust them and measure the results in order to know if the four-day week can be implemented in the company in the long term.

The four-day workweek is getting a lot of press, both good and bad. Some companies are delighted to have introduced it, while others have noticed that employees are not so keen on it. It all depends on the corporate culture and how employees work together. With the right solutions in place, the four-day week can potentially become beneficial to employee well-being.

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