Is the four-day working week for everyone?

Bank holidays are always something to look forward to. Whether it’s spending extra time with family, going on a short city break or even just doing nothing. But how would you feel if you would have that extra day off, every week? 

How has Covid affected productivity?

The last two years have given companies the time to understand how they should operate as well as the number of hours and days they expect employees to work. 60% of the UK’s adult population worked from home during the first Covid-19 lockdown with 26% of Brits wanting to continue to work from home permanently. Employees working from home came with many benefits including increased productivity!

A huge 75% of workers said that they would be more productive working from home due to a reduction in distractions. Two-thirds of employers did find that their remote employees increased their productivity compared to those who continued to work in the office.

Where did the idea of a four-day working week originate?

The four-day week is currently a global campaign in partnership with Think Tank Autonomy and researchers at Oxford University, Boston College and Cambridge University. The campaign was founded in 2018 as a way to create a new way of working to improve not only productivity but also the mental and physical health of employees.

A four-day workweek would allow employees to achieve the same results but, in less time, to allow employees to have more personal time. With employers seeing increased productivity from employees working from home, would they be able to fit all tasks into four days compared to one? Many companies across the globe are now taking part in the pilot program to see whether the four-day workweek will work for their employees. Although will it work for everyone?

Whom will it work for?

The idea of a four-day workweek may sound great but it’s not achievable for everyone. Roles such as support workers are needed around the clock to help those who need it. Looking after others isn’t something that can be cut down into shorter hours nor over fewer days. So, it is unlikely the care industry could move to four days.

However, within the tech industry, it could be a different story. In 2019 Microsoft found success within four day weeks with research showing it led to more efficient and happier workers as well as boosting productivity by 40%. On the other hand, ‘Wellcome Trust’ dropped their plans to move to a four-day workweek as they found their employees struggled to manage their workload in the reduced hours. Therefore, is it seen that a four-day working week depends on each company and their employees?

Each job is different, whether you’re a support worker or a chartered surveyor, every person works differently at what they do. Some workers may prefer to spread their work over many days and work shorter hours whilst some may prefer to work longer hours and fewer days to have more personal time. However, thanks to the Pandemic, companies are becoming more flexible with their employees.

Here at JR, we pick our offices hours and also have the opportunity to work from home. Those who like to be within an office space can visit the office five days a week whereas those who like to work from home can! This way we can all work to our best ability to help our clients and candidates.

Author: Charis Bedford