- The cons of a 4-day work week
- The pros of a 4-day work week
- Can you keep the advantages while eliminating the disadvantages?
Q: What are the pros and cons of a 4-day work week? Should my business make the transition?
A: A 4-day work week gives employees and business owners additional time to rest, relax, and recharge. Studies show that the 4-day work week might cause initial stress and the need for restructuring, but overall, the shortened work week incentivizes creativity, and positive press, and results in lower burnout rates. Your business should make the transition if you can use the advantages and disadvantages of a 4-day work week to your business’s benefit.
In the fallout of the pandemic, an unprecedented number of workers found themselves working from home.
Some of these individuals quit their jobs to look for virtual opportunities, while others worked for companies that shifted to a remote model. With this influx of virtual work, the workforce is more online than ever before.
In addition to the digital transition, businesses and employees alike are considering the pros and cons of a 4-day work week.
The idea of a shorter work week sounds amazing to some and terrible to others, but just this year, dozens of organizations have shifted their employees to this new style of work.
Recently, we’ve seen countless large and sweeping changes made to the modern working environment.
An authoritarian style of management, once touted as the only way to manage employees, is rapidly being forgotten and replaced with a more collaborative approach.
Traditional office spaces no longer hold the same value that they did in years’ past, thanks to the introduction of high-quality virtual offices that provide the same benefits for a fraction of the cost.
The number of in-office workers continues to decline, while the percentage of remote workers and hybrid workers continues to increase.
All these changes beg the question: will the pros and cons of a 4-day work week lead to further changes?
In this article, we’ll discuss the negatives and positives of 4-day work weeks, how you can keep the advantages of a 4-day work week while eliminating the disadvantages, and how to leverage the pros and cons of a 4-day work week with digital entrepreneurship.
So, if you’ve ever wondered, “Is a 4-day work week better?” We’ve got the answer right here.
- The cons of a 4-day work week
- The pros of a 4-day work week
- Can you keep the advantages while eliminating the disadvantages?
- Leveraging the pros and cons of a 4-day work week with digital entrepreneurship
The cons of a 4-day work week
The pros and cons of a 4–day work week are slightly skewed. The positives outweigh the negatives, but there are still a few key issues with transitioning to a 4-day workweek.
We’ve listed a few of the biggest detriments to the 4-day work week, and we’ll take a closer look at each of these issues in detail below, as well as some tips on how to negate these negatives.
- Losing business
- Self-inflicted stress
A major downsides to a 4-day work week is the restructuring your business will need to handle.
If you’ve been operating with a typical 5-day work week, you’ll likely need to make significant changes to adapt to only 4 days. This might involve hiring more employees, changing your business hours, eliminating unnecessary tasks, or simply applying more focus to your daily work.
That said, if you’ve taken the time to build a strong business infrastructure before making the change, you’ll have a considerably easier time making the transition.
A strong business infrastructure allows you to collect data on the areas that might require more employees, the possible changing of hours and business days and should have already eliminated unnecessary tasks.
Additionally, a strong business infrastructure allows you to make plans for the future and react accordingly.
If you’ve poured over the pros and cons of a 4-day work week and know your business is considering making the switch, you can start preparing months in advance to make the transition as seamless as possible.
Another downside is the possibility of missing out on business.
If you switch to a 4-day work week without adding staff members, you may be closed or unavailable on days when people attempt to contact or purchase from you.
This can ultimately hurt your revenue, especially if your customers aren’t prepared for the change.
If you are in a situation where switching to a 4-day work week will require you to close your doors on certain days, do the necessary research and data collection to determine which days would affect your business’s revenue the least.
Remember, a 4-day work week doesn’t mean that your business must be closed for 4 days every week, it means that your employees aren’t working 5 days a week.
Finally, a major downside of a shorter work week is the additional stress it can cause. That said, this stress is typically due to feelings of anxiety about working 4 days rather than 5.
If you’re used to a 5-day work week, you might have difficulty letting go when you’re only working 4 days. This can lead you to stress out when you should be relaxing, ultimately negating the benefits of taking the extra day off.
What should be a Friday spent enjoying yourself and appreciating your time away from work can quickly turn into an anxiety-filled day of wondering what you should be doing with yourself.
Fortunately, as more studies continue to show the boosted productivity associated with a 4-day work week, those feelings will subside. Even without the studies, the individuals suffering from this anxiety will slowly begin to realize that they’re getting the same, if not more, amount of work done each week.
The negatives of working a 4-day work week aren’t too detrimental and can be fixed with proper planning.
Read more: The Four-Day Workweek Merits Consideration
The pros of a 4-day work week
When you look at the pros and cons of a 4-day work week, you’ll notice that the pros heavily outweigh the cons. Thanks to the rise of collaborative management styles and greater attention to employee mental health, the pros are much more obvious than they would’ve been in the past.
What are the advantages of a 4-day work week?
Below, we’ve detailed the various pros of a 4-day work week and how your business can take full advantage of these aspects.
- More free time
- Less burnout
- Positive press
- Increased creativity
- Higher productivity
More free time
One of the most obvious pros is that a 4-day work week allows you more free time for rest and leisure activities.
This has been shown to reduce the likelihood of burnout, both for you and your employees. Having more free time and a better work-life balance is beneficial both psychologically and in terms of productivity.
As turnover rates continue to rise, businesses that are giving their employees a 3-day weekend and prioritizing mental health will look far more attractive than their more authoritarian counterparts.
Your business needs employees to function. Giving your employees some extra time to relax and reset will make your business attractive to potential hires.
According to WebMD, burnout is a form of exhaustion caused by constantly feeling swamped. Coined decades ago, the concept of burnout is being taken increasingly more seriously as employees continue finding themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted due to their work.
Burnt-out employees don’t perform nearly as well as they do when they are rested. A 4-day work week helps you and your team stay happy, healthy, and effective at work.
As a result, your business ends up running more efficiently, as everyone gets more done in a shorter amount of time.
The pros and cons of a 4-day work week have come to the public consciousness. With more organizations making the move to a 4-day week and being publicly applauded for doing so, your business has the chance to take advantage of this positive publicity.
Consumers respond to businesses that hold the same values as they do. Publicly making the shift, if marketed properly, will allow you to garner positive press and connect with customers on a personal level.
This desire to share values results in consumers increasingly choosing to support businesses based on their ethics and how they choose to operate.
A big part of that is how they treat their employees.
Consider the negative press that Amazon seems to receive almost monthly for the treatment of their employees. With the right press release, your business will be applauded for its desire and willingness to treat employees with care and respect.
By providing your team with more leisure time, you can differentiate yourself from your competition and increase your sales.
Collaborative-styled management is taking over the workforce.
The older, authoritarian style of management is quickly fading, and this new approach incentives creativity, collaboration, and free-thinking. In many ways, a 4-day work week can help further incentivize this collaborative approach.
Similarly, time away from work can help you bring more innovation and creativity to your business. Engaging with the world can be a powerful form of market research.
While you and your team are out living your lives, you are also subconsciously noticing things you wouldn’t have picked up on in the office. You then bring this information into your work, helping you develop new strategies to grow.
The creativity associated with having 3 days per week out of the office meshes excellently with the collaborative management style.
New approaches and solutions come much more naturally when you aren’t driving yourself mad trying to find them, and having that extra time off work allows your employees to think of solutions themselves.
Arguably higher productivity
When discussing the pros and cons of a 4-day work week, it’s almost guaranteed that the subject of productivity will come up.
During the pandemic, as countless individuals found themselves working from home, people began to realize just how much more productive remote work is than traditional, in-office work.
Correspondingly, studies show that a 4-day work week has a similar effect.
While initially, a 4-day work week might lead to some extra stress for business owners and employees alike, open and honest communication, clear expectations, and strong business infrastructure will alleviate these stressors.
Shorter work weeks with varying lengths of workdays
Any discussion about the pros and cons of a 4-day work week wouldn’t be complete without mentioning some different styles of work days.
Below, we’ll take a look at some information about a 6-hour workday and the pros and cons of a 4-day 10-hour workweek.
- The 6-hour workday offers many of the same benefits that a shorter work week offers but on a more condensed scale.
- While employee mental health, creativity, and good press are associated with a shorter work day, there hasn’t been as widespread of a push for this transition as there has been with the shorter work week.
- Individuals who have been working 8-hour days for their entire lives might struggle to get all of their work done with the removal of 2 hours.
- Proponents of the shorter workday claim that employees rarely work for 8 hours per day, regardless of the time that they’re scheduled, because during those 8 hours it’s easy to be distracted, take long breaks, or just zone out.
- Opponents of the shorter workday claim that 6 hours just isn’t enough to get all the necessary things done.
- Discussions about the pros and cons of a 4-day work week don’t always make the distinction of whether or not the shorter work week is comprised of longer days.
- In many ways, the ten-hour workday is an excellent solution to the disadvantages associated with a shorter work week.
- That said, employees might not find themselves stressing about losing the fifth day while working ten hours, but working ten hours straight is exhausting and might negatively affect the three days they have off.
The advantages and disadvantages of a 4-day work week are easy to identify. The difficulty arises when determining how to taper down the disadvantages and bolster advantages.
How to keep the pros and ditch the cons
As a small business owner, you want to keep the pros of a shorter, more efficient work week without making any sacrifices.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to do that: e-commerce.
With more businesses making the digital transition, offering virtual services is becoming less of an extracurricular activity, and more of a prerequisite for successful businesses.
The e-commerce market is exploding, with estimates stating that by the end of 2022, e-commerce will account for over 20% of global retail sales.
Below, we’ve documented some key aspects of the e-commerce market that allow your business to take an objective look at the pros and cons of a 4-day workweek, then ditch the cons and take the pros.
Always available for customers, even if you’re not in the office
By bringing your business into the digital space, you make it easy for your customers to get the information they need or to make a purchase any day of the week.
You don’t need to rely on in-person interactions to secure sales. This allows you to work 4 days a week without worrying that you’re hurting your earning potential.
Getting into the e-commerce market, while competitive, is incredibly cost-efficient and straightforward.
Continued virtual demand has led to several streamlined virtual solutions, like website builders to help you create an online presence, digital marketing campaigns to reach new consumers, and virtual offices that can be used as your business’s central digital hub.
- Online presence
- It’s important to have a website that shows consumers your offerings and some information about your business and its founders. This makes your products accessible and adds personality to your branding.
- Digital marketing campaigns
- Whether it’s e-mail marketing or social media advertisements, digital marketing campaigns allow you to connect directly with consumers. Thanks to the digital analytic tools available, you can get a comprehensive picture of the social media platforms your target audience is frequenting. Then, you can allocate your resources to focus on advertising on those specific platforms.
- Virtual Office
- Alliance Virtual Offices provides your business with professional and well-known addresses that can be used to build legitimacy and trust.
- Additionally, Alliance Virtual Offices offer a cost-effective solution that gives business owners all of the amenities of a traditional office without exorbitant leasing costs.
- As you begin focusing on digital-first operations, your virtual office will act as the hub of your business’s operations. Our physical workspaces and easily reservable meeting rooms provide a perfect place to focus on remote work.
When your business is virtually established, customers can use your website to make purchases or request information any time they’d like, effectively removing the chances of losing business.
Easier marketing initiatives and data analysis
Switching to digital-first operations also makes it easier for you to advertise successfully and connect with people.
You can run digital marketing campaigns that don’t rely on your constant presence to succeed.
Traditional marketing initiatives can be labor-intensive, time-consuming, and make it difficult to measure effectiveness.
Digital marketing can be heavily automated and monitored, so not only is the setup easier, but the data analysis about how well your efforts worked is easier too.
Your ads on Google or Facebook are entirely automated after you create them, allowing you to make the impression you need regardless of when you work.
Additionally, these advertisements can start running as soon as you’ve established a presence online, without the need for heavy restructuring.
That said, some level of restructuring is necessary for both switching to a shorter work week and transitioning to digital-first operations. Fortunately, transitioning to digital-first operations is the perfect preparation for a shorter work week.
Drastically reduces stress
Because so many of your business’s actions in the digital market can be automated, there’s considerably less to be stressed about.
Taking three days off work doesn’t sound nearly as bad when you know that your digital ads are running and your customers have what they need.
Once you’ve created an online presence, which can be done with simple drag-and-drop website builders, look into digital marketing initiatives, procure a virtual office, and spend those extra days relaxing and recharging.
Leveraging the pros and cons of a 4-day work week
A 4-day work week is a powerful tool for optimizing your business, getting the most out of you and your team, and keeping yourself fresh and engaged.
Unfortunately, incorporating a 4-day work week often leaves business owners with missed sales and background stress.
The pros and cons of a 4-day work week are skewed heavily in favor of the advantages. Shifting to digital operations allows business owners to reap all the benefits without the drawbacks.
Adopting a digital-first approach for your business and exploring the e-commerce market is the perfect way to use the pros and cons of a 4-day work week to your advantage.
- These statistics prove the value of the 4-day workweek
- The Four-Day Workweek Merits Consideration
- When to Spend, When to Save: Your Complete Guide to Business Optimization
- Thousands of employees are testing a 4-day workweek starting today: ‘It’s inevitable we’ll see bigger companies doing this’
Alliance Virtual Offices gives business owners access to virtual tools that make transitioning, expanding, or just dialing in your virtual operations much more straightforward.
With our virtual offices plans, business owners get access to a physical workspace, a well-known address, helpful onsite staff, and a robust mail forwarding system, all at a fraction of the cost of traditional office spaces.
Our Live Receptionists screen all of your calls and allow entrepreneurs to focus on the core aspects of their operations without the risk of trying to multitask during a potential customer’s first phone call.
So, if you’ve explored the advantages and disadvantages of a four-day work week and determined that switching to digital-first operations is right for you, contact us today to see how Alliance Virtual Offices can help your business seamlessly make the transition.