Most of us are used to having an 8-hour Workday five days a week, and for many companies that will probably work best for them. But for other companies, especially those that deal with the information industry, they may find that their employees are getting their work completed in 5 hours a day, and are only “pretending” to work the rest of the time until it’s time to leave. In cases like this, it may be more beneficial to institute a 5-hour work day, or even flexible hours, so long as the employees are able to complete their work on time.
Having 5-hour work days can make your employees more efficient, as it forces them to find ways to complete all of their normal work in a shorter amount of time. This means they will, among other things, have to make use Productivity tools they may have not bothered using before. And they will want to be more efficient at their work so they can have the extra free time in their day. This also means productivity will go up because they will be focusing on their work rather than on how long they’re going to be spending on the job.
This sort of work schedule can work out rather well for people who work on salary and for knowledge workers who’s work can expand to fill 8 hours, but perhaps not so much for people who are paid by the hour and are paid to be present for a certain amount of hours.
If a 5-hour work day sounds like it might work for you, here is how you can go about making one.
If you want to start a 5-hour workday at your company, you will want to lead by example and show everyone else that it’s ok to leave at 1pm or that it’s ok to come in at 10am or 11am and leave at 2pm.
2. Ownership Mentality
Offer your employees incentives to your employees to be more motivated and productive in the new work schedule. Try offering them a bonus, perhaps a share of the profits, when productivity goes up had the company performs well.
3. Tracking and the 80-20 Rule
According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of production comes from 20% of efforts, so evaluate your typical workday and find out what your 20% of efforts are and get rid of the rest. Spend a week or so tracking how you are working and the time you actually spend working, noting what you did and how long it took. Also look at where you are wasting time and cut back or cut out those things.
4. Production Mindset
Since knowledge workers are paid on salary for their ideas and not what they can do in an 8-hour workday, shift your mindset to production and output rather than thinking in work hours.
5. Availability for Customers
Don’t worry about affecting customer service. As long as your customers know your hours of availability, they can adjust. Or if you give them online resources, like a special customer service Twitter than can monitored and requests handled first thing in the morning. Make sure you have the ‘Receive direct message from anyone ‘ setting checked for the Customer Service twitter account at the bottom of the ‘Security and Privacy’ setting section.
6. Automation and Technology
Make use of technology and productivity tools to help boost your productivity during the shorten workday. Automation is a good tool to take advantage of if possible.