Could we reduce our working week?

Could we reduce our working week?

Would a shorter working week make us more productive and happier?
Or would it cause businesses to struggle?

Changes to the way we work

Over the course of the last 2 years, we have experienced profound changes to the way we live, socialise, and work. Remote and hybrid working have become typical in many workplaces, but what about decreasing the hours we work? The idea of reducing the workweek is becoming more widespread, particularly due to the recent success stories in the news and on social media.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Recruitment Agencies

How could we reduce our hours?

There are various structures that a shorter work week could take: normal hours Monday- Thursday or starting/finishing earlier each day. The key driver is removing hours from the week rather than just packing those hours into fewer days. And the best part? The salaries stay the same!

Why should we reduce our hours?

The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed many of us to think about our current work-life balance and mental health. The argument for a reduced hours working style is that employees will become happier and healthier and therefore more productive.

But will this be the case?

Pros

Productivity Boost

Research has shown that by decreasing the hours employees are working, it increases their productivity levels due to them feeling more fulfilled, resulting in more focus when working.

Health and Wellbeing Boost

Less hours means employees will feel better rested, there will also be less chance of burnout, a common cause of absence.

Environmental and Cost Benefits

By fewer employees commuting regularly this will decrease our carbon footprint. Any costs such as electric and water bills will also be reduced.

Better Recruitment & Retention

Flexible working is a great way of attracting and retaining potential new employees.

 

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Cons

Not practical for everyone

Professions such as nurses wouldn’t be able to participate due to shifts and staff shortages. Would it be ethical for us to reduce our work week if some of our most vital workers can't take part?

Could we manage?

Would we be able to complete the same amount of work in 4 days? Some businesses struggle with their workload as it is, would it be sensible to then decrease the time they have when they are already under pressure?

The Future

The reduced work week has taken off and been successful for many UK organizations, but it is a huge risk for a business to take.

While a more adaptable approach on working hours would be positive for many employees, it is up to businesses to decide if it would be the right move for them.

The four-day week may not work for all areas. However, it has been proven that companies who are putting more focus on their staff’s welfare are increasing their productivity.

Do you think your employer/business will adopt a shorter week?