It is not uncommon to feel like your job takes up a disproportionate amount of your time, energy, and thoughts. After all, many people work 40 hours a week - or more! In addition to the required amount of time you spend at your job, many workplaces have an expectation that you will work unpaid overtime hours in order to show your dedication to your job and be perceived as a go-getter.
This means that you may find yourself showing up to work early, leaving work late, or spending time outside of work answering emails or trying to get ahead on your workload. Although it is important to recognize that work is an important part of your life for practical or personal reasons, there is such a thing as too much work! You need time outside of work to spend on hobbies, family, friends, and your health for your personal wellbeing.
The 4-day work week
One solution to employee work-life imbalances is the 4-day work week! Although this may sound too good to be true, many employers and business owners are realizing the many benefits associated with shorter work weeks and have implemented this new work schedule for their employees. It is important not to confuse a 4-day work week with working condensed hours. While working condensed hours means longer days (9-10 hours) over a shorter period of time, a 4-day work week means working less hours overall, often for the same pay. You would continue working the standard 7-hour days, but for only four days a week.
Benefits of 4-day work weeks
One of the main benefits associated with working a 4-day work week is increased productivity. Studies have shown that overworked employees are less productive than employees that work fewer hours. After all, who hasn’t felt completely burnt out and unmotivated by the time Friday rolls around? This can be a sign that you are being overworked. On the other hand, some employees may even find that they don’t have enough work to keep them busy throughout the week, also resulting in unproductivity. When employees feel that they have a better work-life balance, they become more productive at work!
Other useful benefits include reduced costs and smaller carbon footprints. When employees no longer have to be at the office 5 days a week, transportation costs and building maintenance costs are reduced. Not only does this financially benefit employees and employers, but it is beneficial for the environment as well!
COVID-19 reshapes work
During the global pandemic, many people have seen changes in their work schedules such as reduced hours, flexible hours, or working from home using technology. Although there are many downsides to the pandemic, it has shown us that working more flexible hours is possible and can be beneficial! Many companies are realizing that the standard 5-day work week is not the only way to get things done. It is possible that more and more companies will not only be adopting a 4-day work week, but embracing this work model in a post-pandemic world as well.
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