Automate Time-Wasting Tasks To Allow Four-Day Workweek Benefits to Shine, Expert Suggests

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Maximising Productivity and Happiness: Unveiling the Four-Day Workweek Benefits
Photo Credits - Zachary Nelson via Unsplash

Squeezing five days’ worth of work into four sounds like a good idea, right? Well, earlier this week, we attended a webinar featuring Josh Bersin, the globally renowned industry analyst, who discussed the four-day workweek benefits. We also reached out to professionals to uncover firsthand experiences of those who have worked a four-day week.

Join us as we provide insights from Mr Bersin and others who have adopted this revolutionary way of working. We will discuss the concept’s benefits and outline implementation strategies to make it a reality.

Pioneering Peak Performance

When delving into the four-day workweek benefits, productivity gains stand out as a pivotal starting point. This has been an area of constant discussion and one of the main reasons entities have advocated for the change. 

For instance, a 2019 Microsoft Japan study revealed a remarkable 40% increase in productivity following the four-day week being implemented. Similarly, a UK study by Henley Business School found that reducing working hours can improve productivity.

READ: Four Day Workweek and Hybrid Working are Among the Top Reasons Employees Would Move Jobs

During the webinar, Mr Bersin also addressed the topic of enhanced productivity. He explained how several companies witnessed significant improvements when employees could choose their working hours. This was because it enabled them to work during their most productive periods.

Building on this, content marketing manager Pearl Kasirye told us about the benefits she experienced while working under this new concept. Ms Kasirye explained how her productivity increased as her hours were reduced. She stated, “Having fewer work days forced me to do more work in less time, so I wasted less time”.

The Four-Day Workweek Benefits Harmonising Life and Work

Since this concept involves providing individuals with an additional day off work, another obvious benefit is the improved work-life balance. We spoke with Nicola Rodriguez, owner of Essex House Dolly, who discussed the four-day workweek benefits she experienced.

As a single parent and full-time business owner, she highlighted the advantages it brought to her life. She stated, “It gives me room for wind down and also to have a full day to do what I want”. This was especially true, given that family commitments ruled her weekends.

Yet, Ms Rodriguez is not alone in enjoying well-being benefits due to the four-day week. Evidence from Perpetual Guardian, a New Zealand-based financial services company, revealed that 78% of their employees experienced an enhanced work-life balance directly attributable to reduced working hours.

Employer Perks: A Share of the Four-Day Pie

Significantly, the four-day workweek benefits extend to employers. Mr Bersin emphasises and outlines that talent attraction is a huge benefit to them. He reasoned this was obvious since the condensed hours created a “better way of living”.

Rik Mistry, managing partner at Interval Group, shared insights with Moneypenny, shedding light on another compelling reason why this scheme could enhance talent attraction. He said, “Employers are also more likely to secure the right talent by reducing or removing geographical constraints”. This is especially important during the current skills shortage.

But that’s not all, as employer finances could benefit too. Mr Bersin explained that influenced by productivity gains, many employers reported equal or improved output. Furthermore, Mr Mistry discussed how the change could keep employers in pockets. He claimed this was “mostly thanks to the reduction or elimination of office space”.

Navigating Challenges and Strategies: Implementing the Four-Day Week

However, despite all the four-day workweek benefits highlighted, there has been some pushback against the concept. Gary Warner, marketing manager at Joloda Hydraroll, acknowledged the benefits for specific industries but outlined its potential impracticality in others.

Mr Warner stated, “If people weren’t working in the research and design team and someone on the shop floor needed [their] support with part of the manufacturing, then this could delay the project”. He added, “For the four-day week to work, there would have to be some rules in place, which meant people from each team were present on every day to avoid questions going unanswered”.

Josh Bersin’s Implementation Strategies

Mr Bersin recognised that not every industry could practically implement the new way of working. Yet, he also discussed implementation strategies that could help businesses circumvent the common challenges they may face.

For instance, he proposed eliminating “fixed barrier jobs” to maintain continuous coverage across teams. Instead of rigidly assigning tasks to specific job titles, responsibilities would be distributed among multiple individuals. He explained how this approach ensures that if someone is absent, others can seamlessly pick up the necessary tasks.

READ: Another Day, Another Buzzword: Let’s Talk About Coffee Badging

Alternatively, Mr Bersin suggested employers take advantage of the ever-evolving generative AI. He discussed how the technology could schedule the workforce to ensure employees from each department were always present.

Then, he addressed concerns about individuals struggling to fit five days’ worth of work into four. However, he also spoke about how some CEOs believe 40% of the typical workday is squandered. Apparently, they attribute this inefficiency primarily to long, unnecessary meetings and email correspondence.

As such, Mr Bersin explained how the workweek could be reduced by removing these unnecessary time-wasting activities. He elaborated on this, returning to the benefits of generative AI. By automating time-consuming tasks, he discussed how employees could focus on essential duties, likening AI’s impact on white-collar workers to the revolution machines brought to blue-collar workers.

Four-Day Workweek Benefits:
AI will do to White Collar Jobs what Machines did to Blue Collar Jobs. That's according to Josh Bersin, the globally renowned industry analyst, who believes AI will help people fit five days' worth of work into four, enabling the transition to a four-day week.

Our Final Thoughts on the Four-Day Workweek Benefits

The concept of the shortened week has long been a subject of discussion. And the compelling benefits underscored by Josh Bersin for both employees and employers shed light on its growing appeal. With its potential to enhance productivity, well-being, and talent attraction, it appears inevitable that the influence of the four-day workweek benefits will influence a global shift in work practices.

While the four-day week may not yet be commonplace for everyone, employees still hold rights regarding their flexibility at work. If you believe your rights have been breached, contact Redmans Solicitors now. They are employment law specialists and could advise on your possible next steps following a quick consultation.

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