Flexibility is a trending topic in today’s professional world. Employees want to be able to balance work and life in a more manageable way. What does flexibility entail? It may mean that employees can set their own hours or choose to work at home certain days each month. In some cases, employers may even allow employees to shift the brunt of their work onto 4-work days. This means that employees end up working 10-hour days, 4 days each week.
Benefits of the 10-hour Work Day
As mentioned above, the 10-hour work day allows the employee to create a structure that works for them. This can be helpful if the employee is a caretaker or a parent. It can also benefit workers who prefer to funnel their focus on a shorter work week. Who would turn down a 3-day weekend every week?
According to Forbes, employees who work a compressed work schedule are far happier and more productive. They also report lower stress from the decreased commute time each week.
What Employers Should Be Aware Of
While in theory the 10-hour work day may sound feasible, in reality, the amount of time each day an employee works can be overwhelming. Overtime, this schedule can produce a negative wear and tear on an employee’s physical and mental health.
As an employer, it’s up to you to approve or reject an employee’s proposal. It’s always recommended that you agree to listen to all proposals that your employees bring you. The more you’re willing to work with them; the happier and more productive they’ll be. This doesn’t mean you’re forced to say yes. Communication begins with the right mindset. Be the boss who your employees feel comfortable bringing new ideas to.
Tips for Managing Compressed Work Schedules
It’s important to keep productivity high. Consider the following:
- Adopt a trial period where you and your company test out the new structure
- Mandate that employees keep weekly check-ins with their supervisor who can monitor their work performance regularly
- Inform employees that the new flexibility may shift over time
- Provide positive encouragement throughout the process to keep employee morale high. Transitions are difficult to achieve!
- Find compromises if the compressed schedule doesn’t work, like offering work from home days or shortened Friday hours over the summer months
Finally, it is imperative that employers check state overtime rules. In some states, work in excess of 8 hours per day requires time in one half for all hours worked in excess of 8 in a work day. Further there may be exceptions to accommodate a four day work week. It’s important that you do your research and look before you leap.
Contact Stephen Koppekin if you’d like to learn more about implementing more flexibility in your workplace.