Many U.S. companies have flirted with the idea of a 4-day work week. So on today’s Small Business Show we’re exploring some of the benefits as well as pitfalls to avoid so that you can better determine whether it’s right for your business. We’re pleased to be joined by business consulting expert and the President and CEO of Incito Consulting Group, Izzy Galicia.
With over 25 years of experience, Galicia has led the change of numerous Fortune 100 and 500 companies worldwide to become Lean enterprises. Galicia started his career with Toyota and has gotten extensive Toyota Production System training from the best experts and sensei in the U.S. and Japan. For Toyota, Galicia was in charge of the launch of several significant models that were a success. Additionally, Galicia has extensive expertise implementing lean enterprise transformation across numerous industries in Europe, Asia, Canada, and Latin America.
Further reading: 7 Ways Any Entrepreneur Can Raise Spirits and Boost Employee Morale
A lot of organizations are struggling to decipher if a four day work week is right for them and their employees. But the troubling times post COVID, the high levels of stress and anxiety, have resulted in an average of four million people quitting their job in the last few months, which does not include the new ‘quiet quitting phenomenon”. In response to the tremendous burnout, the question that lingers is: should companies move to a four day work week with five days of pay.
Galicia emphasis that by catering to this new way of work, on the employee side, the benefits then become:
- Having more time to spend with the family, kids, elders, and there is even more room for the self care both mental and physical health outcomes.
- Also, there is the added benefit of families, communities, and as organizations explore this opportunity across the globe, Galicia has claimed it has aided in a more sustainable work environment, climate change- less days at work means less carbon footprints.
On the other hand, for the company, most believe there are great benefits for the company as well. Such as:
- Dramatically happier people. When people are happy, they tend to be more productive.
- Resignation and sick days would decrease, as the consulting group has seen employees would then embrace their role within the company. Again, happy people equate to a happier work environment.
- Stronger talent retention.
- 30% increase in revenue year over year.
When it comes to companies deciding which days to offer their employees off, Galicia says, “a weekend feels more like a weekend when there’s a Friday off.” However, organizations are determining whether they require their staff for teamwork or if they can work independently by evaluating things like business procedures, projects, work flows, job tasks, and productivity drivers. “All of these indicators come into play when choosing which day to let go of,” notes Galicia. Additionally, attracting people to work a four day work week is great for current employees, not so much for new talent however. For example, when someone just starts the questions becomes, how do we fit five days of work into a four day week? According to Galicia, “I think what’s happening is that we’re focused so strongly on where, and when of work rather than how we’re working and how much are we working?” Therefore, in order to retain any new talent, businesses need to optimize its business process without jeopardizing productivity or customer satisfaction.
There is also the issue of the hybrid workplace to take into account. Since the 2020 pandemic, being able to work from home has become the new normal, so attempting to navigate through working Monday through Friday in the office, at home, or variations of this process has taken businesses time to fully equip to. According to Galicia, “what i’m finding most from CEOs, the more traditional style ones, are asking isn’t this impacting our culture?” Yet, through Galicia’s research, he has found taking these four days to work despite the few challenges have tremendously increased business productivity, efficiency, and focus surrounding the 32 work week.