Tag Archive for: resilience

Can the four-day week work for your business?

The idea of a four-day week has been gaining traction in recent years. Many companies are considering the switch to a four-day week as a way to increase employee productivity and satisfaction. This shift could potentially have far-reaching effects on the economy, as well as on individual workers and their families.

A four-day week could lead to more free time for employees, allowing them to spend more time with family or engage in leisure activities. It could also lead to increased job satisfaction, as employees would have more control over their schedules and be able to take advantage of flexible working hours. Additionally, it could reduce stress and fatigue associated with long working hours, leading to higher levels of productivity and creativity in the workplace.

There are lots of articles in newspapers about the idea of the four-day week at the moment. This one grabbed our attention as being of particular interest as it is UK-centric and very pragmatic in its approach.

Having worked a four-day week for the last four years of my corporate career, I wanted to give my personal perspective.

What is a four-day week?

The four-day week is becoming increasingly popular in the corporate world. Many companies are finding that they can increase productivity and morale by giving employees an extra day off each week. There are a variety of different approaches to working a four-day week. Some companies offer a longer work day over four days, therefore crashing the same amount of hours into longer days, but then getting the day off every Friday for example. Other companies offer to let people work reduced hours for reduced pay. (This was what I took up in 2012). What has distinguished this latest study from all the others, is that employees have kept the same salary as if they were working their usual five-day week, but worked fewer hours.

The findings from the study

There are a few benefits of a four-day week. First, it allows employees to have more time to pursue outside interests and spend time with family. This can lead to happier and more productive employees. Additionally, it can cut down on costs associated with commuting and child care.

In the report that we attached earlier in the blog, you can see that 61 companies, involving 2900 employees, took part in the study between June and December of 2022. 56 of those companies are still continuing with the four day work week. 18 of them are making it a permanent change. Why is that? Well, over the course of the trial the companies saw an increase in productivity and performance. They also saw that stress, mental and physical health also declined, and reports of burnout declined by 71%!
According to a full report by 4 Day Work Week Global, covering the same study, 60% of the employees that took part said that they found it easier to combine work and personal responsibilities, and 62% said it benefitted their social life. Employee resignations dropped by 57%, and the companies themselves saw increased revenue by 35%.
However, it stated that one or two companies did have concerns about an increasing workload. Some employees would be working longer hours into the evenings to get tasks finished on time. Also there were concerns of the workplace becoming less convivial, saying that unstructured conversations surrounding ideas in creative companies were declining. One employee stated that socialising at work has lessened, and interrupting colleagues is “taboo” now. But managerial employees are said to be paying full attention to this and perhaps pairing the shorter work week with designated team days. This goes to show that companies really are focusing on the importance of job quality while creating a better work-life balance.

Is a four-day week the right approach for your business?

There are a few things to consider before making the switch. First, think about the type of business you have and whether or not a four-day week would be feasible. For example, if you have a retail business, you’ll need to be open five to seven days a week to meet customer demand, so would you need more employees to cover? However, if you have an office-based business, a four-day week might be a possibility.

Next, consider your employees and whether or not they would be on board with a four-day week. If you have employees with young children, a four-day week might be a great way to help them balance their work and home life. However, if you have employees who rely on a five-day week to make ends meet, a four-day week might not be ideal, if it will be at 80% of the current salary. If you are offering reduced hours and the current salary then this will not be an issue.

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to whether or not the four-day week is right for your business. It’s important to weigh all of the factors before making a decision.

Just remember that all of this should be discussed with all employees. Employees need to feel part of the discussion and help co-create the way forward. This helps them feel part of the processes, rather than the process being done to them. They are also likely to think of things that management have overlooked. Communicate at all levels and keep communicating. Have a trial period and communicate and review.

A personal perspective

It is actually nothing new. I was working a four-day week in 2012. I have to say my experience was very similar to the experience of those people that are currently part of the experiment. While I was not lucky enough to keep my salary as many people are being offered now, I was lucky enough that my remuneration and holiday entitlement were still within very comfortable limits. Plus the health benefits far outweighed the loss in salary.
It was amazing the difference a day made. it does not seem like just an extra day added to the weekend would make such a massive difference, but it really, really did. That extra day to myself, doing chores, and getting some washing done, was all time well used, so then when it came to the weekend, and friends and family were also free, i did not have to carve out any of my time to do chores, I was already up to date and was able to have quality time with them.

Stress levels dropped drastically

I found that my stress levels dropped massively, and I no longer dreaded Mondays because felt like I had had enough time to properly relax and destress. I ate better because I had more time to plan and prepare. Exercise was easier because I had more time. Hobbies were back on the agenda and other things that give me lots of joy.
When I was at work I was happier, and therefore better able to focus. I was also more productive. There is nothing quite like a busy person with less time, to get a laser focus and get a job done quickly.
It took a little while for other employees to respect the time off, but as four-day weeks gained in popularity, they quickly understood the need to respect people’s time. I think times have moved on since then too and everyone respects that there is an overarching need for flexibility where possible.

I recommend it

Based on my experience and that of those I worked with, I would say it is totally worth it. I am sure, as the studies have shown, that I was more productive in four days than I was in five. There was flexibility on both sides and a lot of much happier employees that managed stress levels a lot better. A win-win in my opinion.

Real Resilience

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity and meet challenges with an open mind and a positive attitude. It is something that we all have the potential to be, but it requires practice. It’s not just about being able to withstand pressure, but also about being able to take advantage of opportunities in life. There are many ways in which you can develop resilience, from physical activity and sleep to developing new skills or learning how to be more compassionate towards yourself.

The term “Resilience” has been used in many contexts and its meaning varies depending on the context. However, there are some common features that help define what resilience really is. These features include:

  • The ability to adapt well in the face of adversity
  • The process of adapting well in the face of trauma or tragedy
  • The capability to recover quickly from setbacks
  • A sense that one has control over their own destiny

Real Resilience is more than just a mindset, it is a way of life. It is the ability to adapt to an ever-changing environment. Real Resilience means you can own your impact, growth, and contribution. It does require taking accountability for your own destiny. With Real Resilience, when we talk about being able to withstand the pressure we do not mean that we buckle down when things get stressful and push through. We mean understanding what our stress triggers are, knowing how we react under excessive pressure, and having the tools and techniques to do something about it. Real Resilience is about striving to be the best version of yourself – every single day – because Real Resilience takes work.

Why is Real Resilience important?

There are a plethora of studies in recent years that confirm “resilient people are better able to manage their emotions and thoughts, which helps them cope with difficult times.” Resilience has been linked to better physical health, stronger relationships, higher self-esteem, and a more positive outlook on life.

Resilient businesses are able to increase productivity, reduce costs, and stay agile in times of uncertainty. During this time of ever-increasing uncertainty, marked by covid and its impact on businesses and individuals alike. The rising worldwide tensions. Then there are cyberthreats to contend with. On top of that, there are employment market issues, and more. Senior leaders are sharpening their focus on resilience. What makes some companies so much more resilient than others? How can we build resilience in our organisations? All these questions are more are what we will be answering.

It is not just personal resilience that we need to consider. Financial, Operational, Organisational, Business, Technological, Leadership and Reputational are all different aspects of resilience that we need to think about. You will be able to discover more about these different elements of resilience in the coming weeks.

There is so much talk about resilience these days. It is all over the news, it is being praised by politicians, and society is desperate to find out how to become more resilient. But is it just a buzzword? Is it just used to make us feel better about living in a world that is changing faster than we can cope with? How do you know if you are truly resilient? Will you know if you are only when you are faced with a real challenge? Real resilience is not a buzzword. It is not a list of traits or a change of mindset.

Signs of Real Resilience

An Individual Perspective

Some people are born with an innate sense of resilience, the ability to pick themselves up and carry on in the face of adversity. For others, it is a quality that must be learned and cultivated. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, resilience is a critical quality for success in life.

The ability to persevere in the face of setbacks, and to keep going even when things are tough, is what separates the successful from the unsuccessful. Those who are resilient are able to take whatever life throws at them in stride, and they come out the other side stronger and more capable than before.

Resilience is not a quality that is always easy to maintain, but it is one that is worth striving for. When you are feeling down and out, remember that you have the power to pick yourself up and carry on.

A Business Perspective

Do you feel like your business is resilient? Do you know what resilience actually is? What does it mean to be resilient? Are you one of those companies that is always on the edge or could your business survive a rough patch? When it comes to business, resilience is key. The ability to weather storms, adapt to change, and keep going in the face of adversity is what separates successful businesses from those that fail.

The key to business resilience is having a solid plan in place. This plan should include contingencies for unexpected events, a clear understanding of your customers and what they need, and a willingness to change and adapt as needed.

In today’s ever-changing business landscape, being resilient is more important than ever. The businesses that are able to adapt and change with the times are the ones that will succeed. So, if you want your business to thrive, make sure you have a solid plan in place and you’re ready to change and adapt as needed. Although change can be challenging and those around you can resist. If you would like some ideas then why not give us a call.

Developing Real Resilience

Real Resilience is not something that can be developed overnight. It requires a lot of hard work and dedication. However, it is possible to develop Real Resilience by taking small steps each day. For example, you can start by setting yourself small goals and working towards them. You can also try to be more positive in your thinking and stay away from negative thoughts and emotions. Additionally, it is important to stay physically and mentally healthy, as this will help you to cope with stress and difficult situations. Finally, you can also develop resilience by building strong relationships with others and having a support system to rely on.

Developing business resilience is essential for any organization that wants to thrive in today’s constantly changing landscape. By definition, resilience is the ability to recover quickly from difficulties. In the business world, this means being able to adapt to new market conditions, weather disruptions, and other unexpected challenges.

There are a number of ways to build resilience in your business. One is to diversify your revenue streams so that you’re not relying on just one or two sources of income. Another is to create a culture of flexibility and innovation so that your team is able to quickly pivot when necessary. You should also have systems and processes in place to help you quickly recover from any disruptions. A robust and supportive organisational culture is essential.

Developing business resilience takes time and effort, but it’s well worth it. By being prepared for whatever comes your way, you’ll be able to weather any storm and come out stronger on the other side.

What Next

We have only just scratched the surface of Real Resilience today. We have really only just put Real Resilience into context. Next week we are going to continue the discussion and take a look at financial resilience. Look out for our weekly posts to build on your resilience week by week. Some blogs will focus on the individual and some will focus on businesses. All of them will focus on helping you achieve success.