We all know that eight hours is a long time to work. But how much of those eight hours are actually spent doing something useful? Unfortunately, the answer is not much. Studies show that employees spend up to two hours daily on distractions such as meetings, emails, and other daily interruptions. This leads us to the question: Would it be possible for businesses and companies to offer their employees a four-day workweek? The answer is yes! And here’s why…
Offering your employees a four-day workweek can also improve their productivity.
Employees are happier because they have more time to spend with family and friends, less stress, and more engagement in the workplace. And even though there may be an initial drop in productivity when switching to the shorter work week, this is usually offset by a gradual increase in productivity over time as the employee adjusts to his or her new schedule. Moreover, if you’re not convinced that a four-day workweek will increase your team’s performance levels, consider this: A study conducted by Stanford University found that people who worked from 9 am until 6 pm Monday through Thursday reported higher levels of happiness than those who worked 40 hours per week on Monday through Friday.
A four-day workweek has many benefits, like boosting employee morale and eliminating distractions.
A four-day workweek increases employee morale, efficiency, and productivity. A recent study from a Norwegian research project found that employees who worked 30 hours per week were more productive than those who worked 40 hours. The study also found that employee satisfaction was higher among those who worked fewer hours. Another study published by the New York Times showed that people are generally happier when they have less stress. This is supported by another study performed at Stanford University, which revealed that workers who have more leisure time tend to be happier and healthier than their counterparts who work long hours.
A typical 8-hour work day includes up to 2 hours of wasted time due to distractions.
It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re working. You might be busy doing your taxes, writing an essential report for work, or figuring out how to fix that broken backlight on your smartphone. But are you getting anything accomplished?
The average U.S. worker spends about 2 hours daily dealing with distractions at work—everything from answering emails and taking phone calls to checking social media and getting sidetracked by funny cat videos on YouTube. Distractions also happen outside the office: we’re distracted by our phones in bed before going to sleep or while waiting at red lights during our morning commute. Even though we know it’s not productive (and can even be harmful), these distractions seem hard to avoid.
Workplace distractions like meetings and emails can keep employees from focusing on the most impactful projects.
Meetings, emails, phone calls, and social media can all be workplace distractions. These diversions can keep employees from focusing on the most impactful projects. However, these distractions may be beneficial in small doses. For example, an employee who needs to take a quick phone call may find that it allows them to refocus after they’ve been interrupted.
If you’re considering implementing a four-day work week at your company or organization and want to reduce workplace distractions as much as possible, try implementing some policies such as “no meetings on Fridays” or setting aside specific times during the day when people aren’t allowed to check their email inboxes (e.g., right after lunch).
When an employee works fewer days per week, each day is more productive.
Let’s say you work a 4-day work week. The first three days of your week are spent at the office, but on Friday afternoon, you leave early and go home to spend time with your family. You have more time than usual to focus on high-priority projects because less time is wasted on distractions and low-level tasks. You also have more energy for these higher priorities because the reduced stress levels associated with working fewer days per week can result in decreased burnout, which leads to better performance when it comes time for those big projects. And because there’s less stress involved with these endeavors as well as other aspects of life (such as spending quality time with family), you have an increased sense of well-being that not only makes you happier but also allows for greater focus during work hours since being happy has been shown to increase creativity among other benefits!
In a recent experiment in New Zealand, 69% of employees were less stressed on a 4-day workweek.
In a recent experiment in New Zealand, 69% of employees were less stressed on a 4-day work week. The study measured workers’ stress levels using the Karasek job demands-job control model, which categorizes jobs based on factors like demands (stress) and control (autonomy). The study found that all three groups—those who worked four days per week, those who worked seven days per week, and those given paid vacation time instead—had higher levels of well-being than their counterparts.
This was especially true for older workers: “The most dramatic results were found among employees aged 55 years or older,” according to the report. “These employees also had high job satisfaction scores.”
A shorter work week can result in less burnout and higher morale because employees have extra time for themselves.
Having more free time allows you to do things other than work, which will make you happier. In addition, having more free time allows you to focus on your family or improve your health by exercising. This can help reduce stress and increase productivity at work because employees will be more refreshed when they return from their break.
A 4-day week also gives employees more time to pursue hobbies or volunteer with charities they care about.
Studies show that we are most productive when focusing on one task at a time rather than switching from project to project all day.
The reason is simple: our brains can only do so much in a given period, even if you think you’re good at multitasking (you aren’t). When you switch between tasks too often, your brain has to shift its attention from one thing to another and back again. This causes cognitive fatigue and leads to less productivity overall. Using chunking techniques, like focusing on one specific task for 20-30 minutes before moving on to another, can help keep your mind focused even when changing projects or functions during the day.
Our productivity tends to go downhill after about 90 minutes of working on a single task.
A study from the University of California, Irvine, found that our productivity tends to go downhill after about 90 minutes of working on a single task. The researchers found that this happens because we start to get bored and lose focus. They recommend taking regular breaks and changing tasks every 45 minutes to counteract this. They also recommend avoiding multitasking (e.g., checking email while you’re trying to write your next report) since it can reduce your ability to concentrate on a single task by up to 40%.
The longer you stay on the same task, the worse your focus gets and the more mistakes you’ll make.
It’s a common misconception that multitasking is productive. Research has shown that the more you switch between tasks, the worse your focus gets and the more mistakes you’ll make. The most effective way to work through many tasks is to stay focused on one task at a time for 90 minutes before switching to another job. This way, you can maximize your mental energy and be more productive in less time. If you cannot delegate or outsource your work, try using an app like Timely (available on iPhone) that allows users to set reminders throughout the day, so they don’t forget what they have left unfinished.
Many people have trouble letting go of low-level tasks because they think they’re faster at them than someone else could be
You don’t have to do it all yourself. You can outsource many tasks to others who do them better than you, or at least just as well, and freeing up your time will allow you to focus on more critical tasks. Hiring help frees up your time so you can focus on core competencies and will enable you to save money by hiring people overseas or over the internet.
Rather than doing low-level tasks yourself, find people who are faster and more efficient than you are to do them while you focus on high-priority projects.
Another way to stay productive in a four-day workweek is to outsource low-level tasks rather than doing them yourself. You can do this by using a virtual assistant or freelancer or software like Asana, Basecamp, or Trello that allows you to manage projects and assign tasks.
If you’re going for the more manual option of hiring someone, make sure to use an online platform like Upwork, where you can find freelance professionals who are faster and more efficient than you are at completing routine jobs like data entry and writing marketing emails.
Four-day work weeks are more productive than five-day weeks.
A four-day workweek is more productive than a five-day one. Why? Because people are too busy to focus on one thing at a time. This can be due to distractions in the workplace or simply trying to get everything done in the limited amount of hours you’re allotted per week. When there’s less time in your day, you’re less likely to waste it on things that don’t matter—like watching cat videos or scrolling through Facebook posts from high school friends (you should delete those).
You may think that fewer days would take away from overall productivity. Still, research has found that employees get more done when they have fewer days in the office because they’re forced to focus on what’s most important: their jobs! And let’s face it: no one likes having too many responsibilities weighing them down—especially if they end up burning out before they even get started with anything important.
We’re already seeing more companies implement four-day work weeks, and this trend will continue to grow. With increased productivity, less burnout, and better morale, many benefits come with having a shorter work week.