Everyone is talking about the new hype that is the 4-day working week, so we are going to jump on that very appealing band wagon also and join in with the discussions.
As a result of the pandemic, we have already seen a dramatic shift in working practises and working patterns, with many companies adopting hybrid working practises to include a 2-2-1 working model. 2 days in the office, 2 days at home and 1 day wherever you choose to work.
But will we see businesses going one step further and introduce a 4-day working week as has recently been announced in the news?
The pilot scheme – run by the 4 Day Week campaign, think tank Autonomy and researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College – will measure whether employees can operate at 100% productivity for 80% of the time.
The six-month scheme is set to start in June this year and lots of companies are signing up to be a part of the experiment.
Iceland, New Zealand, Spain and Japan have already experimented with the four-day working week and have seen promising results!
– 25-40% increase in productivity
– Improved work/life balance
– Less need to take sick days
– Better morale in the workplace
We think this new working model is only going to gain traction in the coming years ahead. We have already seen that more companies are putting greater emphasis on employee wellbeing and giving their staff a better balance between work/life following the pandemic. So, a 4-day working week seems like the next natural progression.
But if this latest workplace trend is potentially the future of the workplace, what will that workplace look like?
Your Workspace have looked into our crystal ball and have predicted what this could mean for offices of the future:
More Shared Office Facilities
With many employees working in a hybrid capacity now just over 4-days as opposed to 5, office footfall will be even less. Therefore, we predict that some companies may decide to share building space to reduce costs and overheads to cater to the new working pattern.
More Flexible Workspaces
Here at Your Workspace, we have been discussing what a 4-day working week could look like for our company. We would no doubt still operate over 5 days, Monday to Friday, however the workforce would be flexed to cover different shifts to ensure the business could still operate to capacity. It is unanimous that we all felt the need for a fixed workstation, such as a desk, chair and pedestal are going to be even more outdated than they already are. Therefore, there will be a greater need to introduce flexible working areas such as collaboration zones and multi-user working environments to ensure spaces are being utilised efficiently.
Increased Use of Smart Technologies
Is it realistic to ‘cram’ a 5-day working week into 4? It is if you can save time by integrating smart technologies into your workspace that will automate a lot of processes and eliminate some of the more mundane tasks which are currently being carried out manually. Freeing up time will make this new way of working more achievable. Smart technologies also allow companies to analyse how a building and the space within is being used. If the data shows you that a large majority of the workforce are not using desks, lockers and meeting facilities on a certain day of the week, it will make the most sense for employees to use this day as their extra ‘day off’, as opposed to a day when life in the office is at it’s busiest.
So, is the 4-day working week in exchange for 100% productivity a fair deal? Will it promote healthier mental health for employees and improve focus in the workplace? The honest answer is nobody really knows! But we can’t help but think the conversations and trials that are already taking place are only a good thing for us all.
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