Is Australia Ready For A Four-Day Workweek?
Is Australia Ready For A Four-Day Workweek?
Did you know there’s currently 271 companies worldwide that have implemented the four-day workweek?
So, what does this mean for Australia? Are we on the brink of a revolution?
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably been keeping a close eye on the four-day workweek trials happening around the globe, eagerly waiting for an answer that hasn’t been determined for plenty of companies.
And no, today we can’t give you that answer, we might not be able to for years. But instead we’re considering the probable downsides that could happen from implementing a four-day workweek.
…Not because we want to put a downer on your dream, but because we want to be realistic.
The repercussions aren’t spoken of as often, so we’ve outlined some negatives alongside the positives as these are just as important to consider before jumping the gun.
So, let’s talk about the benefits of this concept:
(Done your research on these already? Skip to the negatives 👇)
1. Increased productivity
One of the main benefits of working four days a week is the increased productivity that comes as a result. It’s said that when employees have a longer break away from work, they tend to be more focused and productive during their work hours.
And because this compressed work schedule reduces a day of commuting to work and the need to be in the ‘work mindset’ for five consecutive days, this can lead to an improved work-life balance and job satisfaction, which can increase motivation and engagement.
2. Reduced burnout
As well as increased productivity, employees might also experience less burnout when it comes to working a four-day week.
Although it’s only one day less, this is seen as a massive perk to plenty of today’s workforce where that one day can be devoted to their life outside of work. Therefore, this allows an employee to recharge which can improve well-being and reduce burnout and exhaustion.
3. Fewer distractions
A four-day working week may also encourage employees to work harder as they have one less day to complete their tasks and meet deadlines.
With five days, employees might be tempted to spend some of their time on non-work-related websites finishing up any loose ends they couldn’t on the weekend. However, with four days, their outside responsibilities are much less likely to intrude into their work hours.
But what downsides could a four-day workweek bring?
1. Could induce stress
If a company wants their employees to squeeze their set amount of hours into four days, this could increase a person’s stress. Having to fit 40 or more hours into the new workweek could give plenty of employee’s anxiety.
Needing to fit school pick-ups and drop-offs, grocery shopping, fitness, and errands into a 10-hour workday could prove difficult and near impossible, and dare we say it almost not worth the hassle.
2. Might not suit particular businesses
Certain businesses mightn’t be able to adapt to a four-day working week as some require a 24/7-hour presence making it also near impossible for some companies to adapt.
For businesses that have built their brand around being readily available five days a week for customers and their queries, we can’t see how this working model could be implemented completely for these companies’ employees.
3. Some jobs just take time
While some jobs might not be suited to reduced work hours as their tasks could be simply time consuming. Lessening the work hours of certain roles could prove problematic as the four-day workweek incentive would just take a valuable day away rather than add value.
4. People who work four days might be unlikely to receive promotions
Offering a four-day workweek doesn’t mean every single employee will use it. And as a result, those who continue working five days a week could receive promotions far quicker than those who don’t. So, will it be easier for employees working five days to get ahead and achieve success compared to those working fewer days?
5. Staff having to work alternate days could push employers to hire more staff to cover workloads
If a company has decided to embrace the four-day workweek but chooses different days for their employees to work this could cause a number of issues. It could increase the stress of employees because they’re taking on extra workloads of those who have the day off, cause communication problems, and even prompt employers to consider hiring more staff, increasing expenses.
6. Reduced salary
The benefit of having extra free time at home and one less day at work can result in a reduced salary (depending on your company) and with the current inflation this can affect people’s overall lifestyle.
7. Might encourage a lazy work culture
If employees are allowed to work four days a week, and within those four days, they can choose to work from home this might mean workers rarely go into the office. Could this begin to affect the office culture?
And is a four-day workweek fair if not every business can adapt to the working model?
- Will this cause shortages in certain industries or roles?
- Will this put the world off-balance?
- What does this mean for structure?
What could it mean for the future of employment?
Have a question for us? If you’re a job seeker on the lookout for your next role, a hiring manager looking to fill a position, or want to know more about this topic, contact us at Humanised Group! We’re here to help you succeed.