The four-day workweek has been a hot topic as of late, and with PM Trudeau not ruling out the possibility, many Canadians are hoping this will be part of our new norm. The idea of shorter workweeks is nothing new and this work style has been growing in popularity for several years now.
It’s important to remember, however, that while there are many benefits to one less day of work per week, there are also some drawbacks. Here are some pros and cons of the four-day workweek worth considering.
Pros of a Four-Day Workweek
Better Work-Life Balance
Do you ever feel like your two-day weekend went by in a flash? Having a whole extra day without deadlines and/or a commute to the office frees up a lot of personal time. This extra time can be used to nurture hobbies, participate in leisure activities, and spend time with friends and family. Perpetual Guardian, a New Zealand firm, experienced the benefits of a four-day workweek firsthand after a trial study resulted in a 24% rise in work-life balance amongst its employees!
You’re probably well aware that too much stress is bad for your health, and with everything going on in the world today, that’s the last thing we all need. Having an extra day to relax and recharge can make a world of difference when it comes to the stress levels of employees. This, in turn, will lead to a happier and more engaged workforce!
Just because you’re working 40+ hours a week doesn’t mean you’re productive for the entirety of it. In fact, overworked employees are actually less productive than those who work a reasonable amount of hours. Microsoft saw a 40% jump in employee productivity when they tested out a four-day workweek at a subsidiary in Japan.
Cons of a Four-Day Workweek
Not Suitable for All Industries
Unfortunately, a four-day workweek is not feasible for all industries. Some require a 24/7 presence and others have scheduling requirements that could get in the way. For certain industries, like real estate, having employees away from work can take a real toll on their bottom line.
Difficulties with Child Care
In some four-day workweek models, four 10-hour workdays are what’s being proposed. This could present some challenges for parents since most daycare centres are only open until 6 PM. Finding ways to work around an unusual schedule could end up being a pretty big headache for workers with young children.
A Utah study found that while there are amazing environmental benefits to having your employees work four-day weeks, customer satisfaction can be something that suffers. When customers weren’t able to access government services with their offices closed on Fridays, they faced a lot of complaints. However, with smart scheduling and technological solutions like chatbots, this is a concern that can be easily addressed nowadays.
While there are still some kinks to work out when it comes to the four-day workweek, the general consensus among Canadians is that it’ll be more helpful than harmful. After everything we’ve been through these past few months, three-day weekends would be a much-needed pick-me-up!
At Project Spaces, we’re always on the lookout for innovative ways to improve people’s work experience at our coworking spaces in downtown Toronto. Be sure to check out the new page on our website to find out how we’re keeping our members safe during these unprecedented times. We’re ready for you whenever the time is right!
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