Published on May 2, 2017

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Does a long weekend every weekend sound good to you?

 

After a busy April, packed with public holidays, how do you feel about the concept of a four day work week?

Sweden recently introduced six hour work days and the Greens are calling for a four day work week.

Work-life balance has become a critical area of study in the last several years as technology increases our connectivity, yet our ability to disconnect from our work lives is eroded.

As cities expand and housing prices drive workers further out into the suburbs the time we spend commuting to work increases.

Introduce the four day work week however, and every weekend is a long weekend. What could be better? Driving an hour and a half each way to work would seem less like a chore if it was only four days of commuting.

Until a little voice (or a loud one) in the back of your head sticks up its hand and asks ‘Will I still get the same pay?’

Well, it depends.

If working four days a week means compressing your standard 38 hours into four days, then sure.

If it means working 8 hours for four days, then you need to be prepared to take a hit to your weekly pay.

While it might sound attractive to work a 10 hour day, four days a week, for families and those with carer commitments, the schedule may actually be more stressful than a standard five day week.

Impacts on business would also occur. Just because your employee is only working a four day week doesn’t mean your business is only going to operate on those days.

For small businesses with small staff numbers this may lead to problems attracting staff if you don’t offer the four day option, and the possible expense of another employee to cover the gap.

So there is a lot to think about on this issue. We all want to reduce stress relating to work, whether we are in business or employed.

It may be more productive to limit after hours email and text contact in order to allow people to switch off at the end of the work day.

Or perhaps you are waiting with baited breath for the four day work week option.

The question remains whether a reduced work week is the way to go about it.

Q/ What do you think? Do you feel that a four day week would improve your staff’s productivity and reduce stress?