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Can 4 day work weeks increase productivity?
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Written by Natalie Barresi

Branded Content Creator

4 day work week, a solution to improve call center productivity?

In recent times, there has been a growing trend of companies that are beginning to offer compressed work weeks to some of their employees. This new schedule means that they work only 4 days a week. Some employees work 10 hours per day, others have maintained the general 8 hour work day. This gives workers a 3 days to rest every week. This allows them to disconnect from their job, explore their hobbies and spend time with family and friends. 

The 4 day work week could be a possible solution to prevent employee burnout. It decreases stress levels while still maintaining productivity. This is a relatively new concept, however with recent technological advancements it is becoming the new reality for many companies.

Should call centers apply this schedule?

Benefits of a 4 day work week

Reduced workweeks can be very beneficial for employees and companies. For workers, it helps their work-life balance. For employers, this can reduce costs, as well as their carbon footprint.

Reduced costs

Compressed work weeks mean that employees don’t have to be at the office 5 days a week. Office buildings would only be needed for 4 days which leads to lower energy costs. In 2009, a study was conducted in the United States in the state of Utah where government employees worked 4 days a week. After 10 months, the trial saved over 1.8 million US dollars as their energy bill had dropped significantly. 

This was over 10 years ago. Companies in major cities with large workforces might have increased benefits from this and with the technology that is available today, it could save them even more money.

Higher levels of productivity

While significant changes may not be seen immediately, the relationship between freetime and productivity becomes very clear. 4 day work weeks permits employees to rest more which allows the brain to clear out waste. This results in people being happier and having more energy which leads to better performances. More rest means that workers are less likely to have burnout syndrome and prevents setbacks for companies. 

An 8 week study completed by Perpetual Guardian, a company based in New Zealand, showed that employees were more concentrated, happier and still maintained the same level of productivity as they did with a 5 day work week. Workers were less stressed with numbers decreasing from 45% to 38%, which improved job performance. 

Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Sweden are some of the world’s most productive countries and they generally work fewer hours, implementing similar hours to a compressed work week schedule. 

If employees have time off, they can focus on their own personal things that might have gotten in the way when they were working from Monday to Friday and therefore would translate into them being more productive during the 4 days at the office. 

Positive environment impact

A reduction of work days would mean less congestion and less energy use. Rush hour traffic would be reduced and thus the amount of pollution released would decrease as well. Returning to the study done in Utah; besides lowering costs, it reduced at least 12,000 metric tons of CO2 from closing the office once a week. By lowering commuting rates, the amount of greenhouse gasses released also diminished. 

Employees can spend more time doing low impact activities which are better for the environment but additionally allows them to relax and disconnect from work. 

Employee satisfaction

While this type of schedule is beneficial for companies, on top of that, it increases employees’ general happiness. In Perpetual Guardian’s study that was referenced earlier, job satisfaction improved, work engagement increased and employees found their work to be more stimulating. 

A 4 day work week also helps make way for more equality. A fair amount of parents, generally mothers, are not employed as they stay home to care for their children. Working less days would give them a chance to maintain a career but still have time to juggle work and personal affairs. 

With time to rest, workers become more committed to their employers and are more motivated to reach goals. 

Possible drawbacks

Compressed work weeks can be complicated to organize, especially in large companies. This process can be quite long, therefore some businesses decide to select certain departments to try it first and correct any problems before attempting with the whole organization. 

Changes are necessary and this type of schedule has to be planned out thoroughly. Not to mention that 4 day work weeks require a healthy workplace culture, the right technology and enough resources. 

In short, reducing the amount of work days during the week can lead to a greater level of employee satisfaction while preserving the same level of productivity but it must be organized well with the correct tools in order to get the best results possible.

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