Could a Three-day Work Week Really Work?

Networking 2 years ago, Reading time: 2 min

Many of us dream of spending less time at work, but would cutting down the working week be a reasonable change to make? Of course, life isn’t as simple as that. The same amount of work would still need to be completed in the working week, but could the notion of flexible working and spending more time out of the modern office become a reality? Some of the most famous CEOs believe in the idea of flexible working to boost productivity by allowing employees to cut the number of hours spent in the workplace.

Here are just several reasons why a three-day work week may be a good idea.

A better work/life balance

Due to the fast-paced lifestyle we are forced to deal with, alongside spending vast amounts of our week at work, it can be a struggle to spend quality time with family and friends. Richard Branson claimed that the developments in technology and having trust in employees is a vital link that may allow employees to regain a sense of freedom in their personal life and maintain a happy home and lifestyle without any unnecessary stress. Similarly, businesses renting service offices will be able to book rooms efficiently as and when needed rather than a necessity.

With a few free extra days, employees can carry out essential duties such as shopping and washing, without imposing on much-needed time with loved ones.

While this may seem like a rather generous and perhaps unrealistic concept, a test was in fact carried out by a company in New Zealand and delivered impressive results. A shortened work week revealed that 24% of employees claimed to have a better work-life balance with reduced stress levels.

Time well spent

People are only as productive as the time they have. When put under pressure, tasks are more likely to be completed with efficiency, knowing that there is a deadline to meet. This theory could also be applied to the workplace scenario. When you have too much time on your hands, it’s easy to lose focus and pop off to the coffee machine, browse social media sites or start chatting with co-workers.

Does a lack of focus in the workplace relate to the fact that tasks are stretched out over a five-day week when they could actually be condensed into a three or four day period? Some industry leaders believe this is one of the main reasons for employee dissatisfaction.

Working with yourself in mind

Having to clock your hours and work out how much time was spent on each task may work in a factory scenario, but on an overall basis, it can be a very discouraging notion. If you’re not paid by each achievement you make, you may go home feeling as though you haven’t really achieved much.

However, if a company decided to stick to a three- or four-day week, your mindset may alter slightly. You will be more inclined to consider your own working style and how long you personally need to spend on each individual task, rather than feeling pressured to have to make the work last for a set number of hours. This then raises the question on how much time you realistically need to remain productive if you were free to leave the workplace once all the tasks had been completed.