How the Four-Day Workweek Could Affect Franchises
One of the biggest challenges the workforce faces in the post-pandemic world is a heavier workload, which has led to increased stress and burnout. According to a study conducted by Deloitte, 77% of workers have experienced burnout at their current jobs.
Companies are struggling to find ways to defeat this burnout, but innovative solutions such as the four-day workweek show promise to help alleviate this stress and burnout.
How the four-day workweek came about
Ultimately, the goal of initiatives such as the four-day workweek is to attract and retain top talent in your workforce. In the post-pandemic market, labor shortages have left more open positions than workers to fill them. As such, the power for negotiation lies in the hands of employees more than employers, meaning franchises are feeling more pressure to meet the needs of their employees.
The primary concern of employees currently in the workplace is flexibility in their work environment, which manifests itself in several ways, including the four-day workweek. The Covid-19 pandemic changed the landscape of work by showing workers and businesses alike that the traditionally rigid structure of the workplace is not as conducive to productivity as was once thought. Embracing employees’ need for flexibility and a more personalized work experience can lead to significant benefits in employee morale and performance.
Offering the flexibility of a four-day workweek is a great way to let employees know that you value their time. Even though they work the same number of hours weekly, the benefit of a four-day workweek is that they have more time for themselves thanks to an extra full day that they don’t have to go to work. By sacrificing two extra hours four days a week, employees can earn an extra day off.
How to effectively implement a four-day workweek
If a franchise adopts a four-day workweek, it is important that they do not take advantage of their employees. For example, if your employees work four 10-hour days, it is inappropriate to ask them to come in and work the fifth day without extra compensation—just as you would not have a 9-to-5 employee work on a Saturday without paying overtime. It is also critical to ensure that employees do not feel increased pressure to complete their workload in a shorter time.
Most workplaces will best find success with the four-day workweek in a staggered system, as this will ensure that their labor needs are met. The most basic four-day workweek system would have one team that works 10-hour days Monday through Thursday, and another that works 10-hour days Tuesday through Friday. However, there are many combinations that can be used to allow employees to have three days off per week without affecting the franchise’s efficiency.
Indeed, how a workplace adopts a four-day workweek depends on several factors, including the sector’s unique needs. Still, most franchises can improve employee morale by using the four-day workweek. For example, a manufacturing franchise can be relatively flexible with hours, as long as they have enough staff to hit production goals. On the other hand, a client-facing office may have to be more particular with its hours of operation to ensure that clients have access to employees when needed.
Business leaders also must remember that the four-day workweek is not a one-size-fits-all solution for every employee. Some employees might be motivated and refreshed by the extra day off. Others may find that a shorter workweek with longer daily hours causes them additional stress or interferes with their personal and family obligations and preferences. As part of this commitment to making employees feel more comfortable and accommodated in the workplace, franchises must embrace all innovative models of work, including hybrid and remote structures where applicable.
Adopting the four-day workweek can be an enormously beneficial initiative for businesses if it is properly implemented. According to one study, 92% of employees would be in favor of a four-day workweek. The benefits this strategy can offer in terms of employee morale and mental health are astounding. Nevertheless, employers must respect their employees’ boundaries, especially as they change in this shifting landscape.
Izzy Galicia is the CEO and founder of Incito Consulting Group, an award-winning global professional services firm and an expert in Lean Enterprise Transformation. To learn more, visit Incito’s website.
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