How can you implement a four day week?
There’s no doubt implementing a four-day week has become an increasingly popular move for companies wanting to offer greater flexibility to boost staff recruitment and retention.
In fact, 50% of UK companies now offer a four-day week to either some or all of their staff. Working four days can increase employee morale and productivity, but before your company takes the plunge it requires careful consideration to ensure a seamless transition. So what is the best way to implement a four-day week?
Research has found that 40% of companies are worried that the implementation of a four-day week could cause staff tension and resentment in the office, particularly if it’s only certain staff members or departments that get the four-day ‘privilege’, while others remain on a five-day week.
It’s vital that before overhauling your businesses’ working week, all staff are fully consulted and their opinions are taken into consideration. The best way to do this would be through an anonymous survey where employees are more likely to be open and honest with their feedback. It’s important that the majority of staff buy into the changes, otherwise moving to a four-day week could cause discontent and resignations.
Just as organisations need to consult employees about a change to working hours, if the shift could impact clients or customers in any way then it’s vital they are also consulted. Afterall, clients pay the company’s wages, so doing anything that might affect your relationship and ultimately cause them to reconsider their business, would be highly negligible.
One of the main reasons for switching to a four-day week is to offer employees greater flexibility. However, if the move means all employees need to work longer hours Monday to Thursday and take Friday off, then this may not suit certain staff who have children or after-work commitments. Flexibility must remain flexible so that staff can work hours that best suit them. What’s more, if you need staff in the office to cover five days, meaning that each employee has a different day off, it might be wise to rotate the days each week. The most popular days to take will almost certainly be Monday or Friday so it’s unfair if certain members of staff have these days off every week.
You won’t really know how the move to four-days might impact the business until you’ve tested it. For that reason it’s best to bill it to employees as a month trial initially and then review at the end of this whether or not it’s been successful. Even if it is initially successful, things could change when new recruits or clients come onboard, and for that reason it’s important that organisations review regularly once the change has been implemented.
Altering company working hours is a major internal change, but it could work out to be one of the best decisions your business has ever made, providing you plan for it properly. By following the steps in this blog it will help keep staff and clients happy to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.