5 benefits of implementing a 4-day work week in the company
Benefits and opportunities of implementing a 4-day work week
Implementing a 4-day work week is a globally trending initiative. So is the establishment of a 5-hour workday and the creation of more flexible telecommuting policies. These are formulas that increase the productivity and satisfaction of employees. In this article, we analyze the benefits and opportunities that implementing a 4-day work week can bring to the company and we also share success stories:
1. Government support.
The Government of Spain has launched a pilot project for companies interested in the proposal. The objective is to reduce the working week to 35 hours per week to be at levels similar to those of the EU-8. This is a three-year, €50 million plan that allows companies to test the reduction in hours with minimal risk. The costs of bringing a company into the four-day workweek, for example, could be covered at 100% in the first year, 50% in the second and 33% in the third. The government aims to increase productivity, generate greater commitment to companies and reduce the turnover rate in organizations.
2. Increased productivity and well-being of employees.
This has been demonstrated by a study carried out in Iceland by the British consultancy Autonomy. The 4-year study collected data from 2,500 employees who reduced their working hours to 35 or 36 hours per week. The study reveals a notable increase in employee well-being and performances.
3. Positioning as an employer brand.
One of the major goals of any company is to position itself as a happy company. The goal is to attract and engage talent. To do this, several measures can be adapted, among them, would be to offer the members of each employee the possibility of having a 4-day working week. This would be the example of Telefónica, which recently announced that it was considering incorporating this measure as a work model.
4. Reduced environmental impact.
The 4-day working week also means less travel. This has a direct impact on the carbon footprint. In addition, reducing the average working week from 5 to 4 days implies a very considerable reduction in energy. This is demonstrated by the study carried out by the environmental organization Platform London and the 4 Day Week Campaign. The data shows that by 2025 the change from 5 to 4 working days would reduce UK emissions by 27 million tons, a reduction of more than 20%.
5. Promoting equality among working HR individuals.
Reducing working hours in any format can represent an opportunity to bring greater equality between people. According to INE data, the number of leaves of absence for family care was 54,723 in 2020, of which 87.2% corresponded to women. Implementing a 4-hour working week represents the option of sharing family care equally. This measure is intended to give women the same opportunities as men to develop their professional careers.
In a nutshell, the shorter working day brings multiple benefits for HR individuals and for companies.
“Better quality of life for the worker, more leisure, personal and family reconciliation, small business projects and employment growth thanks to the hiring of workers to cover the hours that remain available”
Antonio Fernández García, professor at the UOC's Faculty of Law and Political Science.