When I came back to work from maternity leave after having my little boy in 2015, I was fortunate enough for our family to be in a financial position which meant I could reduce my working week and spend some proper time with my 1-year-old, whilst still earning some spending money to help keep me financially independent.
After 13 months off, I knew I needed to return to work. As much as I loved spending time with my little one, I was not made to be a full-time mummy! And in all honesty, I just needed a couple of days a week where I could drink a hot cup of tea, have a wee on my own, and speak to other grown-ups about anything NOT baby related!
I know many people aren’t as fortunate as I was, and work full-time as a necessity, so when I heard whispers of this phenomenon of being able to work full-time hours via an 80% capacity – I did an inner cheer for all those people who so desperately long to have a three-day weekend!
So, what is this three-day weekend wizardry?
Put simply employees get 100% of their salary, for working 80% of the time, whilst committing to 100% delivery in terms of output.
How can it benefit employees?
- The wellbeing of staff, impacts morale, loyalty, and overall productivity.
- Employees who work a four-day week report feeling happier, less stressed, and less burnt out.
- They report being better able to perform in their jobs and better able to relax on their time off.
- Individuals’ sleep also improves along with their physical and mental health, boosting their overall well-being.
What benefits can it bring to your business?
From an employer perspective, research shows that productivity can be maintained, or even increased by implementing a four-day week in accordance with the 100:80:100™ model.
The four-day week improves gender equality. It encourages a better distribution of domestic responsibilities and helps reduce barriers to women remaining in the job market, taking on leadership roles and pursuing training opportunities.
Research also suggests that moving to a four-day week will reduce carbon emissions by around a fifth as you’re cutting back on commuting time and energy use in buildings. Additionally, evidence shows that when people are time-stressed, they tend to choose faster and more polluting modes of travel and daily life activities, so having more time will reduce our carbon footprint.
So why aren’t more businesses doing this? I suspect that it’s because it almost sounds too good to be true which makes leaders worry that if they try it out and it doesn’t work, they’ll be stuck with it. We think this just means needing to have more real conversations with your team about how to make this work and reviewing progress together, as you go along.
Maybe it’s time to implement a four-day work week? Get in touch and we’ll help you to make that happen.