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Is a 4-Day Workweek a Good Idea?

The rise of the 4-day workweek is a trend to be noticed. Companies around the world have been exploring the possibility of shifting their employees’ workweek to 32-hours and researching the advantages and disadvantages of this nontraditional working style. Studies have shown that a shortened workweek results in happier workers, decreased stress-levels and increased productivity. Truthfully, everyone looks forward to the occasional 3-day weekend, and, in this case, a 3-day weekend would come every week — what’s not to love! Though this is a sound and favored plan for employees, what does it mean for business?

The pros to a 32-hour workweek are pretty obvious, specifically to those who typically work well over the 40-hour norm. The possibility of a 4-day workweek would be a dream to most and is becoming a reality for many — but, what about the workload? Research has shown that employees would not lose productivity by losing this 5th day. In fact, productivity would increase to compensate for those 8-hours. Additionally, less time would be lost in unnecessary meetings. Time management would amp up tremendously, giving employees the motivation and ability to opt out of ineffective meetings, and, rather, spend their billable time on appropriate projects.

Along with in office efficiencies comes employee happiness and work-life balance. This term, ‘work-life balance,’ is a buzzword used mainly by millennials, but often taken the wrong way. This does not mean they want to work set hours and not be bothered off the clock. It means they want to feel needed and valued during the workday, in order to work hard and powerfully, so a sense of accomplishment follows them after hours. A 4-day workweek would allow for employees to better engage with their work, welcoming along creativity and innovation, and resulting in fewer burnouts across departments.

In an ideal scenario, a 4-day workweek could be implemented in companies across the globe. However, some businesses may not be fit for this environment. Industries, like manufacturing, cannot afford for any loss of time and do require 24/7 scheduling. In the same vein, this new process could affect those paid hourly and those on salary. Some jobs simply take time, so there is the possibility of the same hours being recorded despite the shortened workweek. In this case, companies would need to revisit their overtime policy, and, perhaps refine it for these moments to ensure employee satisfaction is maintained.

While there are various pros and cons to a 4-day workweek, it’s up to each individual company to see if it would be beneficial for their company culture and productivity. While more studies need to be done on the advantages and disadvantages, it’s an interesting concept that more companies are likely to adopt.

Is a 4-Day Workweek a Good Idea?

Pete Answers Your Workforce Related Questions

The first question: What can leaders and managers do to motivate their employees?

The first thing is to realize that all people are different. One person’s career goals and values can be completely different than the person sitting next to them. You should ask each employee what they want and gain an understanding of their personal motivators. This way, you will be on track when you want to inspire individuals to perform at peak levels.

The second is to express gratitude and recognize and reward employees’ achievements. One of the main reasons people leave their jobs is because they feel undervalued and underappreciated. Continually show your gratitude and celebrate employee’s successes.

The third is a simple but often overlooked motivator - food! In your office, if possible, have some food or snacks available for your employees and bring in breakfast for the team once in a while. One great way to increase employee attendance at optional meetings is to have a lunch-and-learn where free food is offered. People perform better with a little food in their bellies.

The forth is to offer a flexible work schedule. In today’s corporate environment, the 8-5 schedule is being replaced by flexible work schedules. To reduce lengthy commute times, some folks prefer coming in earlier and leaving earlier, or conversely coming in later and leaving later. Some people can work remotely from time to time, and some may prefer to knock out their work in four 10-hours days and enjoy 3 day weekends. Be open and work with your team on what accommodates their schedule and lifestyle the best – of course, production cannot suffer.

The fifth is to be respectful. Be open, transparent, honest and respectful with your team. Lead by example and be the type of leader who inspires their team with greatness instead of motivating them with fear.

The sixth is to give people the room to grow and offer a career path for them. No one wants to feel stagnant in their role, so continually check in and see what you can do to help them further their development and growth.

The seventh is to “gamify” your most important or redundant tasks. Make the everyday tasks fun. Pete gives the example of in his office having the sales team think of a word of the day that each person needs to use when leaving a voice message. This results in more activity and often more client call backs.

The eighth is to create stretch goals. Stretch goals with a reward incentive are a great way to motivate your team to do more. They inspire people to go above and beyond what is considered expected.

The second question: What is the difference between a resume and a CV?

A resume is a brief summary of your experience, credentials, and accomplishments. This overview is typically 1-3 pages and is the most common.

A CV (which stands for curriculum vitae) is more in depth and is more common for those with an academic or scientific background. A CV can be up to 10 pages and gets more into the details about what each of their specific previous roles entails. Pete’s tip is to always tailor your resume for the position you are applying for.

The third question: What is a good starting salary?

In Jacksonville, the average starting salary for college graduates is $41,000. This will of course differ based upon what job they get and what field they are in. The current mean salary in Jacksonville is $46,000-$47,000 and the salaries for all professions in Jacksonville have increased by 1% in this last calendar year. One thing to also consider is that the cost of living is 5-6% lower in Jacksonville then the rest of the country so the pay for people living in Jacksonville will also reflect this.

The forth question: What second language is the best to learn?

One of the best languages you can learn is Spanish. It’s versatile and most commonly used in the US. The second best language to learn would be French.

The fifth question: How do you recommend overcoming adversity at work?

We all deal with adversity at some point in our lives – whether it’s in our personal lives or business. The first thing to do is shine the mirror on yourself and ask yourself if you are part of the problem. The second is Pete’s take on the Serenity Prayer where he says when faced with adversity to accept what you cannot control and to look to the things you might be able to change. Finally, you may need to reset your goals or the steps to reaching those goals. Accept that failure is part of the path to success.

Pete Answers Your Workforce Related Questions

Understanding and Supporting Gen Z in the Workplace

Gen Z is the latest generation to enter the workplace. While Millennials still remain the majority of today’s workforce, Gen Z is catching up. Those born between the mid-1990s to mid-2000s qualify as Gen Z and account for 61 million people in the United States. The Gen Z population are digital natives and they can’t imagine a time when the internet didn’t exist. Technology has always been an integral part of their daily lives and, like Millennials, social media is a big part of it. Compared to the previous generation of Millennials, who are often criticized for job hopping, Gen Z workers, who grew up during the 2008 recession, seem to be gravitating toward jobs that are more stable and they appear to prioritize financial security more. With this new workforce generation it’s important to offer guidance and encouragement to help them develop and thrive professionally.

Companies looking to attract young new talent, like Gen Z’ers, are more frequently offering perks like flexible/remote working set ups, unlimited vacation, free food and beer on tap, but studies have found that mentorship programs and healthcare are the benefits that matter most to them.  Furthermore, for the latest workforce generation, an empowering work culture is more important than a high salary.  They want to be involved in making a difference and the majority of them value their employer being actively engaged in the support of social initiatives.  This can come in the form of the company donating a percentage of their profits, promoting volunteer programs and giving them time off to get involved with causes that are important to them.  There is no doubt that their managers also play a critical role in the success of young, new talent and making employees feel valued and recognized for their achievements, both small and large, is key. It’s important to understand their career goals and give them the tools and counsel they need to reach those goals. Older generations mentoring the new workforce can also benefit and learn from their younger counterparts who are more familiar with social trends and who can offer a fresh perspective.

Gen Z employees are praised for being achievement-driven, socially conscious, tech savvy and purpose driven. They are the most diverse workforce in history and their ideals and motivators are changing the landscape of our economy.  They, along with a significant percentage of Millennials, are driving a different level of awareness and acceptance in today’s society and it’s having a direct impact in the business landscape and our economy. This generation is a driver of thinking differently and pushing societal norms.  Our world is changing, and the latest generations are going to lead the charge. To foster this new wave of innovation, it’s important to give them the support and guidance they need. Gen Z employees do well in collaborative environments and want regular feedback and recognition on their successes. They do well with guidance from a mentor vs. being micro-managed. Setting goals and providing a coaching based leadership style will help the new workforce emerge as young leaders.

Understanding and Supporting Gen Z in the Workplace