Workforce Solutions


Cogent Infotech
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Dallas, TX

The business community worldwide quickly adapted to working from home, largely due to the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the business cycle is now coming to terms with a hybrid work ecosystem, many governments and organizations worldwide are opting for a 4-day work week. 

The pilot projects undertaken by several governments have shown positive results, with employees feeling healthier and happier and achieving a similar level of productivity.

Several governments have taken the initiative to put in place a four-day work week mechanism. Be it New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's appeal to local companies to switch to a 4-day work week or the decision of the UAE Government to switch to a four-and-a-half days work week. However, it is important to understand that organizations have had mixed success with this newly found love.

Adopting a 4-day work week requires a proper understanding of expectations and requirements from industry leaders. 

What do leaders need to know before trying a 4-day Work Week? 

There are several initiatives a leader can take before opting for a 4-day work week. Here are the top 4 things leaders should know before introducing a 4-day work week:

Reducing working hours does not reduce work

It is important to realize that reducing employees' working hours does not necessarily mean a reduction in work. Employees are usually expected to complete the same amount of work in less time. This adds to the stress of employees working in a four-day work week. If you plan to adopt a four-day work week, the organization must make a conscious effort to reduce the workload on your employees. 

Expecting the same amount of work while reducing working hours will result in increased stress on the job or employees working after official hours. Both these situations would stop an organization from enjoying the expected benefits of adopting a four-day work week. Organizations can adopt solutions like time-diary or improved performance management systems to ensure meaningful change is achieved.

Reducing working hours should not add to work's intensity

It is often seen that reducing working hours usually means that work is fast-paced, and employees are expected to take shorter breaks. In other words, spend more time on the job during those four working days in a week. While it may suit the working style of some of your employees, it can be overwhelming and stressful for other employees, who then have to spend an extra day to recover from the work intensity.

Employers should avoid promoting output over the positive well-being of employees if the idea is to invest in employees' work-life balance, or at least look like one. For instance, while New Zealand was among the pioneers in proposing a four-day workweek, the industry has been slow to pick it up as workers have struggled to fulfill the expectations of employers. At the same time, the workaholic economy of Japan reported positive results as productivity increased during Microsoft's four-day work week trial in Japan.

The focus should be on finding solutions

There has been too much noise around the concept of a 4-day work week or other similar trending topics in the past. The important bit here is to not swirl over any particular trend and look for meaningful solutions to provide a positive ecosystem for employees to achieve the set goals. Rather than tying your workplace goals to a solution like a four-day work week, it is better to take a long-term approach toward providing a healthy work-life balance to your employees.

It can start with analyzing your business needs and what your employees expect. The answer to meeting the needs of the business and the needs of the employees lies in the details of the day-to-day work environment and the company's long-term strategy.

Suitability for business

It is important to understand if a particular model is suitable for your business or if you are trying to adopt it because it is in fashion. For instance, if you have a client-facing business where your client works five days a week. It is impractical to believe that you would be able to switch to a four-day work week without any cooperation from your client. 

Even if you announce a four-day work week, your team would more often be found working on the fifth day per the client's business needs. Therefore, assess the suitability of the four-day work week for your business before switching to it.


According to a Gartner Survey, most organizations fear a loss in productivity by switching to a four-day work week. However, other studies suggest that 63% find it easier to retain talent, and 78% of employees feel happier and less stressed with a four-day work week. You must decide what is good for your organization. There can be customized versions that can suit the needs of the organization. 

The important part is to figure out if you are ready to commit to a change in the daily work schedule of your organization. If yes, you should spend some time understanding the needs of the employees and the business rather than copy-pasting a four-day work week template in your organization. 

To read more engaging content like this, visit the Cogent Infotech website.



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