4 Day Workweek Guidelines: How to Ace Your 4/10 Work Plan
Thinking of implementing 4/10 workweek but don’t know how to begin? Discover proven strategies & tips to help you adopt this new concept successfully.
4 Day Workweek Guidelines: How to Ace a 4/10 Work Plan
Working a 4-day week is like playing chess. You must think ahead and plan your moves accordingly to reach a successful outcome.
Just as a skilled chess player strategizes to outsmart their opponent, mastering a 4-day workweek requires careful planning and execution.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into proven strategies and practical tips to help you implement this exciting work schedule successfully.
Why Is a 4-Day Workweek Important?
Following are the reasons why the 4-Day Workweek is beneficial:
Better Work-Life Balance
Numerous studies have shown that employees prefer jobs that offer personalization and flexibility.
In fact, a survey conducted by Deloitte found that 22% of millennials want to leave their current jobs due to poor work-life balance. This has a significant impact on talent retention and recruitment.
In contrast, implementing a 4-day work schedule allows employees to allocate more time to their families, friends, and personal chores. It fosters a healthier equilibrium between work and life by providing an additional rest day.
Fewer Health Issues
Opting for a 32-hour job that provides a long weekend can be beneficial for destressing and dedicating quality time to loved ones.
The less stressed you are, the healthier and happier you will be.
According to Charity Mind, mental health concerns impact a significant portion of the population, with 1 in 6 individuals facing these issues.
Reduced Carbon Footprint
A four-day workweek can also benefit the environment by reducing carbon footprints.
As per 4 Day Week Campaign’s 2021 report, implementing a four-day, ten-hour workweek can lead to a significant 21.3% reduction in the UK’s carbon footprint.
In addition, studies have shown that long weekends contribute to lower carbon dioxide emissions and ecological footprints.
So, taking up a 4-day career helps you improve the environment too.
Companies That Have Adopted the 4-Day Workweek Model
What does the 32-hour workweek look like? Let’s take a look at the real-world experiences of these three companies that have tried the four-day workweek.
1. Elephant Ventures
To test the effectiveness of the 4-day workweek, Elephant Ventures conducted a two-month trial in August 2021.
The company implemented a 10-hour workday from Monday to Thursday, and the feedback from the team was overwhelmingly positive.
Employees appreciated the newfound flexibility and the extended three-day weekends, allowing them more time for personal errands and projects.
The 4/10 work schedule not only provided these benefits but also resulted in improved efficiency. With a shift in the meeting schedule and a greater focus on productivity, the organization observed increased output.
The positive outcomes of the pilot program led Elephant Ventures to transition to a permanent 4/10 work system.
Panasonic, a prominent multinational corporation headquartered in Japan, implemented a four-day workweek in 2022.
This initiative allows employees the flexibility to opt for a condensed work schedule, providing them with an extra day off for pursuing side jobs or engaging in volunteer activities.
According to Panasonic, this new work system serves as a valuable tool for attracting top talent, enhancing productivity, and fostering employee happiness.
Shopify, a renowned platform for creating e-commerce websites, joined the trend of the 4-day workweek by granting its employees a long weekend during the summer.
Initial reports indicate a boost in productivity as a result of this work plan. However, the program has not been fully implemented for all of the company’s global workforce.
Interestingly, over 300 companies in various European countries have embraced the 4-day work schedule. You can explore these opportunities to discover your ideal job.
4-Day Workweek Guidelines: 8 Tips To Implement the 4/10 Work System
So how to execute the four-day workweek with a high success rate? The following tips can help you ace your 4/10 work arrangement. Let’s get started!
1. Establish The Best Change Plan
Follow these super easy ideas for implementing the 4-day workweek schedule.
Launch a pilot program: Begin with a temporary trial to assess the feasibility of the new concept. The pilot program will provide key metrics, feedback, and observations to help you decide if you can adopt the 4/10 system.
Use this period to identify time-wasting activities and introduce methods to expand productivity, such as time blocking.
Gradual transition: Instead of rushing into a 4-day workweek, integrate it gradually into your operations. For example, you can gradually reduce employee hours by 5 to 10 percent each week or month until you reach your desired goals.
This approach allows you to identify and mitigate potential risks early on, minimizing any potential negative impact.
Abrupt change: This method involves a fast-track approach, but it requires clear communication of policies. You must be specific about workers’ compensation, including overtime benefits.
Let your employees know how the 4-day workweek can affect them. It’s a great idea to use time blocking to encourage them to focus on their main tasks and finish them quicker.
2. Don’t Send Work Communications On ‘Off’ Days
During flex days, unexpected matters may arise that require urgent attention from your team. You might feel compelled to send an email to certain employees, requesting their assistance with pressing issues.
However, it’s important to avoid sending emails on Flex Friday or any other day when your team is enjoying their well-deserved rest. This is because it’s crucial to demonstrate that you value and respect their time off.
3. Determine the Business Goals You Want to Achieve
Ask yourself why you want to implement the four-day workweek schedule. Understanding the reasons helps you craft a policy to guide your plan and garner support from employees and other stakeholders. Here are some objectives to get you started:
- Accelerating productivity
- Improving employees’ well-being, including mental health
- Boosting efficiency
- Enhancing talent acquisition and retention
These goals can enable you to measure and monitor your performance to see if the 4-day workweek is ideal for your business.
4. Address the Impact on Policies
As a four-day workweek arrangement has extra hours per day, it affects wage policies, sick leave, and paid time off.
For instance, some states, like California, require you to pay your employees overtime if they exceed legally defined normal working hours. So, check with your local labor authority or legal team to ensure compliance.
Also, have a quick walk-through of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to ensure compliance with federal labor laws.
5. Reduce the Time Spent on Meetings
Image Source: TechRepublic
Let’s be honest, some meetings are unnecessary and can drain productivity. Surveys indicate that 83% of professionals spend between 4 and 12 hours per week in meetings, consuming 1/3 of the workweek.
To address this, consider shortening meetings or adopting strategies like Microsoft Japan. They utilize Microsoft Teams to streamline communication and manage meetings, allowing for more efficient collaboration.
6. Create a Business Contingency and Risk Mitigation Plan
Setting up a robust business contingency plan is crucial to address potential risks and minimize disruptions during the implementation of the 4-day workweek.
Follow these steps to create an effective contingency strategy:
- Identify and list all possible risks that could impact your company. Engage stakeholders, including employees and management, in a brainstorming session to gather insights.
- Assess the severity and likelihood of each risk to determine its potential impact on your operations.
- Pick most important risks in consultation with your stakeholders.
- Conduct a business impact analysis (BIA) to understand how each risk could affect your business processes.
- Develop a contingency plan specifically tailored to address the most critical risks. Clearly define each risk and outline the steps your team will take to mitigate its impact. For instance, if a risk involves a pandemic preventing employees from coming to work, your contingency plan should include provisions for remote work, alternative suppliers, and other strategies to ensure minimal disruption.
Use this template to create your risk management strategy.
7. Inform Customers and Other External Stakeholders
Introducing a four-day workweek into your organization has an indirect effect on your external stakeholders. Inform the following interested parties to avoid confusion and ensure a smooth transition:
Provide your stakeholders with clear guidance on how they can reach your organization during the designated off days. Establish alternative points of contact, such as a dedicated team or chatbots, to ensure uninterrupted communication and support.
8. Use Automation and AI
Streamline the transition from the traditional workweek to the 4/10 work system by automating routine and repetitive tasks. Implementing AI tools enables your employees to focus on critical activities and maximizes their productivity.
You can automate the following tasks:
- Scheduling social media posts by using apps or blog posts through a content management system, such as WordPress
- Processing payroll
- Sending follow-up emails
- Implementing regular file backups.
- Using natural language processing (NLP), robotic process automation (RPA), or artificial intelligence (AI) to complete data entry
Land Your 4-Day Workweek Dream Job Today
A four-day workweek is now the holy grail of companies that want to increase productivity by 40% while promoting employees’ well-being.
However, to effectively harness this approach, it is crucial to know how to implement it into your company policy.
And in case, you are seeking a company that offers better work-life balance, explore 4 Day Week current job openings.
Discover your ideal 4/10 work schedule that allows for more relaxation. Sign up for free and find your perfect match.”