From September 1, we will be trailing a 4-day working week.
So what are my thoughts on this?
When I first pondered the concept, I was unsure a 4-day working week was a good idea. I couldn’t see how this would be possible in a small organisation, or one that is dynamic and constantly changing.
Regardless of these concerns, I kept an open mind and thought the concept was pretty cool, so why not try and make it work.
I have been told many times that my routine each day is very set. Gluten free crackers 11.30am, lunch approximately 1.30pm (which then must be completed with some source of chocolate).
So, if I can create such a routine, no matter how hectic the work day is, why can’t I build on this and work towards my strengths when it comes to a 4-day work week?
Daily Routines Do More Than Provide Structure to Our Lives. They Save Time, Money and Prioritise Work in a Way That Will Make a Difference.
So, is the 4-day week about working more hours each day? Or is it about being more efficient and productive with the hours you have to work? To be honest I don’t have the answer. What I do think is that you should do the work as required to achieve the ultimate outcome, making the work results based.
For example, as I’m writing this article, it’s Sunday. The purists would say this goes against the concept of the 4-day working week – but I would argue this! An outcome is required by Monday, I have the spare time and the creative juices are flowing. Therefore outcome achieved!!!
But that doesn’t work for me!
Depending on job role, outcome requirements, hours of operation, services provided, number of staff etc… The 4-day working week will take different forms and will need to be constantly refined. The thing that shouldn’t change, are the routines you establish in order to be more efficient. These should be sharpened and refined as you go.
Even if you are not going to dive into the 4-day working week, there are some things we can all do to be more efficient in our day.
Here some tips I am currently working on to help me be more productive (inclusive of the fact that I’m a late starter and late finisher):
- Get up and move– this is an absolute must; I have a stand-up desk to keep me moving, but more often than not I will simply walk from end of the office to the other and back to keep the energy levels up.
- Take a micro nap– Don’t tell the boss but having a micro nap really can improve motor performance, reduce stress and improve your mood………So that’s why he keeps booking out the conference room in the afternoon!
- Eat the frog (Or as I say, the chocolate Freddo Frog) – get the tough work out of the way first and leave the easy stuff until last.
- Always try to kick a goal by the end of the day– Often there is frustration or distraction in any given work day, so, by kicking a goal or having a win you can certainly improve your mood as you walk out the door.
- Relax, then do some more work– Given my role at wattsnext there is often work I can do at home in the evening while watching mindless TV in the background. Of course, this won’t be applicable for all work tasks, again it is about maximising your time when it suits.
- Take time out for your passion– whether its family, working out at the gym or playing guitar make sure this is part of your daily routine.
- Prepare for tomorrow – Look over your to do list, what’s your agenda, what meetings do you have? Setting goals and objectives means you’re going to sleep with a clear mind knowing you are prepared. This is very basic, but often overlooked, so make sure you pay particular attention to this.
Why is wattsnext doing this?
In a world where change is the new constant, your people will still be your competitive advantage in business. We can all become more efficient within our workday, there is an opportunity to remove administrative tasks and replace them with more impactful ones. More importantly the traditional workweek is potentially becoming obsolete in today’s business world, so it is necessary to evolve.
Trialling the process and hopefully implementing it on a permanent basis so we can recommend this concept to our clients with some authority.
Should you try it?
This depends on organisations, businesses and owners. Employees do need more flexibility and employers should be supportive of an employee’s professional and personal life. When employees get time to rest, they become more productive, creative, and healthier which ultimately leads to better outcomes for business. If you do make the leap as we have, be sure to let us know about your experience.
I am really excited to see if I can actually achieve a “4-day working week”. The key for me (I think) is continuing to be flexible and prepared to make ongoing refinements – it’s never perfect the first time.
Simplicity sticks, Complexity rejects, remember #HR rocks! #HRfortheModernWorld
Photo by Content Pixie.
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