Sinead Hall: Should employers consider introducing a four-day working week?

Absolutely; everyone knows the saying don’t knock it until you try it and I certainly think this applies here. Four-day working is proven to lead to happier and more committed people. It may seem difficult as a business to initially implement but my advice would be to certainly try, because who doesn’t want to work with happier people?

My advice to anyone looking to move to a four-day working week would be to first think about their people and culture, their team diversity make-up, and the impact this decision will make to the way in which they currently run their business. Simply reducing the days a team works won’t make a positive impact, in fact condensing the current output will actually burn a team out. To commit to such a positive change, employers have to be ready to invest in the wellbeing of their teams by employing additional team members and reducing the daily hours the team currently work. It’s a big change but one that won’t be regretted as it will bring a tenfold increase in productivity.

At Evolved Search we truly have a people-first agenda with everything we do. Prior to the pandemic, four-day working was something we were reviewing closely to support us in continuing with our employer of choice status as we grew, so when we began to review how it was working across other countries and the positives that come with it, implementing it for our team was a no-brainer.

We are working hard on our people agenda to ensure we employ a diverse team, and our workplace as a whole is equal, and four-day working not only allows us to employ people who wouldn’t normally be in a position to apply, but it also gives our current team a better work-life balance as they are able to spend more time with their loved ones and better juggle personal versus work commitments.

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Reducing our weekly hours to 32 and condensing over four days has already translated such significant returns on the investment for us: our absence and presenteeism rates have seen a decrease and productivity is certainly on the rise. However, for us the key change we wanted to see was a better work-life balance and an increase in our teams general and mental health and so far, our employer net promoter scores have certainly peaked with an increase in overall personal health, stress, happiness at work and work-life balance.

Sinead Hall is head of people at Evolved Search