In episode 135 of “The JoyPowered® Workspace Podcast,” JoDee and Susan discuss the popular idea of four day work weeks.
The world of work changed significantly for most of the workforce in March of 2020. As working remotely became an option or a requirement for many organizations and options for flexibility rose, the idea of working four day work weeks became a hot topic. It’s not a new idea, though. Certain types of organizations have had those options for decades, and JoDee and Susan both had four day work weeks at some point in their careers.
Though a lot of research and conversation has happened around reducing the total number of hours worked in a week, the discussion in this episode is focused on working 40 hours in four days, not a reduction in total hours worked.
Gallup research shows that employees with a four day work week rate their overall lives better and they experience lower rates of burnout, yet shorter work weeks show a higher percentage of disengaged employees. It’s important for organizations to focus on improving the work experience first instead of jumping straight to reduced weeks. In addition, policies that attempt to control work life balance are based on the assumption that work is bad and that we know what will work effectively for all people – while four day work weeks may be a good idea for some, they may not be for everyone.
In December 2021, the Congressional Progressive Caucus endorsed a bill that would seek to implement a four day work week and proposes that employees be paid time and a half after 32 hours instead of 40. This bill is unlikely to become a law in the near term, but is an interesting idea. In September of 2021, Belmont Packing, a UK company, opted for a four day work week, but they weren’t focused on higher productivity; their intent was to give staff more time to focus on themselves. It’s a different spin on the four day work week idea!
In this episode’s listener mail, a listener asks for advice on making a hiring decision when you have candidates that are tied in qualification. In the news, an HRdive.com article lists three of the top litigation issues expected in 2022.
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