Running a Business is no small feat – just ask any SME owner. Being your own boss comes with important responsibilities, including creating a work culture that best works for you and your employees. An emerging trend in both corporate and SME setups today is the concept of the four-day work week. Embraced by tech giants and governments alike, the four-day work week offers many promises – better work-life balance, increased productivity, and higher retention. But is this new model everyone’s cup of tea?
There are several factors to consider before implementing this drastic step; this might be overwhelming to consider. In this article, we take a look at what SME owners need to know about this alternative to the traditional 40-hour week.
1. It depends on the nature of your business
First things first – a four-day week may not work for every business, for the simple reason that some businesses need to be functional and accessible all seven days of the week. If not the entire workforce, some departments may need to be on call more often than others. This is particularly true for customer-centric businesses. In this case, a four-day work week may not be advisable and can negatively impact customer satisfaction (unless you use AI chatbots for queries when your representatives are away). In contrast, running a content creation agency or website management services may give you the flexibility to tweak your work hours.
2. It could increase productivity
Organizational psychologists around the world agree that a four-day work week could increase productivity if implemented well. Be it for the four-day work week, reduced hours, or a remote working experience, accountability boosts productivity. Experts at Pixel storm Web Agency suggest using metrics other than time to increase morale and productivity alike. “Instead of measuring an employee’s contribution based on her hours, use more significant metrics and daily goals to measure a job well done,” they suggest.
3. It could improve work-life balance
A shorter work week automatically means more time devoted to other activities. Happy, energized employees are more likely to be productive at work. In fact, a four-day week may eliminate cases of Friday lulls and reduce instances of burnout. In addition, since your employees have only four days to get work done, they are more likely to prioritize important work and eliminate red tape. Not only does this reduce the need for redundant meetings, but it helps your team function in a streamlined way.
4. It may boost retention
A four-day work week is an attractive prospect to both current and potential employees. Satisfied employees are more likely to stay in your company for a longer time, allowing you to establish stronger connections with your team. Having a well-knit team is particularly important for SMEs, as experienced employees can train and guide newbies as they come. This establishes a secure work culture that encourages creativity and growth.
5. Implementation matters
While considering a four-day week, it is paramount to remember that a cookie-cutter version of the model may not work for your company. For instance, you may not be able to afford to shut down your entire enterprise for three days a week. In this case, it helps to establish a rotation of staff so that there is always someone available. A portion of your team may take Friday off, while the other takes Monday off. Including employees in these discussions will not only help your staff feel included but will increase loyalty to your firm.
6. It may not work for everyone.
Every enterprise is different, and a four-day work week may not be suitable for every business. It is not practical to expect all businesses to do well just because you’ve implemented a four-day week. Auditing and flexibility are key. Do you need a four-day work week, or do you need to implement other strategies like occasionally working from home? Include your team in these decisions so that you can understand their needs.
Remember that a shorter work week is not an excuse to cut salaries – your business model should be a win-win for your employees, your clients, and yourself. Now that you have decided to consider an alternative to the traditional forty-hour week, tune in to the needs of your employees and customers before taking a call. A four-day work week might be just what you need to scale your business to higher profits!