Every struggling company in America is looking for possible ways to reduce costs, increase production, and in turn, increase profit. It is guaranteed that they have already implemented a number of cost-saving measures, which may or may not be working. However, as the financial climate still remains unstable, these companies are left looking for the best way to save a dollar without harming the company’s potential.
So you’ve cut back on salaries and eliminated bonuses. While this may have saved you some money, chances are employee morale decreased. If you are looking for a way to save some money, while possibly benefiting the employees, you may consider implementing a 4 day work week.
You could choose to cram 40 hours of work into 4 days. Employees are basically performing the same amount of production as a normal work week, except there is one less day that heating, cooling, and electric costs will be used. Yes, essentially you will still be maintaining all of those utilities for 40 hours each week. However, the cost to heat an extra 2 hours each day would be considerably lower than starting up the furnace on a separate day.
However, some businesses have found that only working four 8 hour days does not greatly affect their production. The 32 hour work week demands a more focused, effective team of employees. A survey conducted by American Online and Salary.com found that the average employee will waste 2 hours each 8 hour workday. They may be checking their e-mail, texting, making personal calls, or simply surfing the web. If given the choice, most of these employees would eliminate their daily time-wasting habits in exchange for a 4 day work week. Therefore, the focused team of employees can basically perform the same tasks in 32 hours as they once did in 40 hours.
Aside from saving you money, the 4 day work week may ultimately increase morale and employees’ happiness. Given the chance, most employees would enjoy a 3 day weekend to spend with family. This can also lower employee sick days or “hooky” days. Many employees admit to calling in sick when they simply need a day off. With a 3 day weekend, the need for “hooky” days is greatly reduced. Also, employees can use their day off to schedule necessary appointments, which may have otherwise interfered with their workday.
Employees will also save time, money, and frustration as they decrease their commute time. Their fuel costs and even wear and tear on their car will decrease.
Your customers may benefit from your 4 day work week also. For some customers your normal business hours may not have fit their schedules. If you are now open 2 hours later, this may allow for more flexible accommodation.
If your business cannot simply shut down on a Friday, consider offering a flexible schedule. Perhaps one team of employees could work Monday-Thursday, while another works Tuesday-Friday. This ensures that your business has coverage on every work day. This may not cut down on utility costs for you, but it will help your employees save on commuting costs. If there is an average slow day for your company, consider this for the extra day off. Perhaps employees could have off Wednesdays, rather than Fridays.
Making the decision to switch to a 4-day work week should not be taken lightly. You must weigh out the pros and cons specifically related to your company. Many states such as Utah, have seen considerable success in their employees, the overall production, and also customer satisfaction when they implemented 4 day work weeks for all state employees. If you are looking for ways to cut costs, while increasing productivity and morale, 4 day work weeks may be your answer.