• Are we heading for a 4-day week?

        • CBS’ Managing Director, Phil Green, discusses the work trends which suggest a four-day week could be on the cards.

          I’ve noticed in the last few years how Friday mornings on the roads and trains appear to be much quieter than the rest of the week. Another observation is that the rush hour traffic on a Friday seems to build up from lunchtime, a lot earlier than the rest of the week. Similarly, I often find it’s more difficult to get hold of people on a Friday morning as increasingly I’m coming across individuals who end their working week on a Thursday. This leads me to believe that more and more people are either working from home on a Friday or fitting more into the hours they’re at work to enable them to work a 4.5 or even 4-day week.

          Will we eventually see a much wider culture of 4-day weeks within entire companies or industries. After all, it’s not that long ago that the working week was 6 days long. It was only in the 1920s that Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company, standardised the 5-day, 40-hour working week without reducing employees’ pay.

          A More Focused 4-Day Week?

          I’ve read a number of articles recently about a 4-day week. It is proven to boost productivity and offers employees a greater work-life balance. But the logistics of implementing flexible working like this seems like quite a challenge for most companies.

          As a company director, I do have the luxury of flexibility in my working habits. Fortunately, I have a fantastic team here at CBS Office Interiors who look after affairs in my absence. However, I’m more aware that I need to maximise the time I’m at work so that I don’t leave unfinished business. If you’re going to have a 3-day weekend, you can’t expect others to pick up the slack when you don’t come in on Friday.

          I’m also very conscious that clients may want to get hold of me on a day off. However, I do take phone calls and respond to emails if necessary on a Friday if I’m having a long weekend, but would my staff do the same and could I really expect them to? I think that this is an inherent issue with a 4-day week as clients and suppliers are not necessarily on the same schedule.

          This leads to another challenge for business owners: do you have sufficient staff to cover for those on a 4-day week? With a relatively small team, this may not provide enough cover especially within individual departments. The nature of our business, design and build, means that projects often run 5 or more days a week, which makes flexible working for these staff members harder to manage.

          I’m all for flexible working if it works for both employer and employee, I’m passionate about work life balance. I’m happy to have staff working different hours or shorter weeks at times, but it can only work if it doesn’t impact on other employees’ work and the business overall.


        • Stay up to date - Click here and register for FREE OEN online membership and enjoy unlimited access to a host of benefits including the exclusive members area of the website, downloadable business tools, current and back issues archive, priority breaking news alerts, weekly e news summary and the OEN app

        • Related Articles

        • Research finds IT support positively transformed by pandemic

          Research finds IT support positively transformed by pandemic

          Tuesday 14th Sep 2021 by clareb
          The perception of IT support has dramatically improved thanks to the successful response of service desks to the pandemic, lockdowns and working from home. According to new research from the Service Desk Institute (SDI), sponsored by&n...Read More...
          Satisfaction in the workspace linked to increased productivity

          Satisfaction in the workspace linked to increased productivity

          Tuesday 14th Sep 2021 by clareb
          Fellowes Brands has announced the results of its survey of over 6,000 employees across Europe, 1,000 of which are from the UK, revealing 9 in 10 (91%) of all European employees and 89 per cent of UK employees say satisfaction is important to the...Read More...
          81% of younger workers fear loneliness from long-term home working

          81% of younger workers fear loneliness from long-term home working

          Thursday 9th Sep 2021 by clareb
          New research from Chargifi reveals that since working from home, Gen Z and Millenials feel disproportionately isolated, and say it is negatively impacting their ability to build and develop relationships at work, and potentially harming their career ...Read More...
                • About Us

                  OEN is the leading source of business news and information for buyers of office equipment, supplies and services within mid tier and up sized organisations. Our multi-platform approach delivers relevant, engaging and focussed content via our main printed magazine, bespoke guides and supplements, website, digital editions, apps, and newsletters with an unrivalled reach across the industry. A highly trusted and respected brand for many years, the print version of OEN last year celebrated its Diamond anniversary.

                  For our latest Media packs and more details on our range of services click here

                • View Latest Issue