As a Sustainability Consultancy, we pride ourselves on advising our clients on ways to improve their workplace health and wellbeing. However, we want to take our own step forward in building a healthy and sustainable work environment for our staff.
Therefore, we are excited to announce that effective from 4th April, Element Four will be moving to a four-day working week operating from Monday to Thursday.
We are adopting the 100-80-100 rule: 100% pay, 80% time, achieving 100% productivity.
The need for a more modern way of working has been with us for some time. Before the pandemic, many organisations, both large and small, had already made a move to implement a shorter working week with proven success. The pandemic has only supercharged the case for shortened working hours, as people are now more eager to find a better balance between work and life. In addition, the surge in working from home during the pandemic has opened people's minds toward a more flexible lifestyle.
With staff wellbeing at the forefront of our minds, we want to give our employees the best possible experience in prioritising career prospects and work/life balance.
Benefits of a four-day working week
When doing our research, we found numerous studies that have empirically demonstrated well-implemented four-day working week benefits both business and its employees:
· Increased productivity
Having an extra day off provides individuals with greater energy at the start of the working week and as work life balance improves and burnout lessens. Furthermore, employees tend to focus more on work knowing they have fewer days to complete their work.
· Recruitment and retention
To remain competitive, offering a more flexible work pattern is a perk that helps attract and retain talent. In addition, employees who are treated well will also likely work harder, resulting in enhanced productivity and a happier workforce.
· Reduced costs
A shortened working week means that employees do not have to commute as much and contributes to reducing the operating cost as the office building is only in use four days a week. Some studies also discovered that a shorter working week promotes better health and mental wellbeing among workers and less overall sickness absence.
· Extended benefits
A shorter working week can also translate into some climate benefits from reduced commuting, lower energy consumption and thus less carbon emission.
Perpetual Guardian, a New Zealand firm trialled a four-day week. Their results found that 78% of employees could more effectively balance their work and home life. This was compared to 54% prior to the experiment.
The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, noted when she came out in favour of a four-day working week, there is a noticeable boost to the hospitality sector when workers have more time for leisure.
4 Day Week Global is a not-for-profit community established to provide a platform for like-minded people who are interested in supporting the idea of the 4-day working week:
The 4 Day Week, Andrew Barnes
Studies from the World Economic Forum suggest that a four-day working week helps to bridge the gender parity pay gap as it allows all individuals to better balance their home and work lives.
We believe that moving to a four-day working week is the best way to balance our desire to do good for our clients at the same time as protecting and promoting our employees' wellbeing. We will be using the next 3 months to trial and implement our new way of working and during this time we will closely monitor our productivity levels and adopt measures to ensure we continue to provide a fully functioning and seamless operation to meet our clients’ needs and expectations.
Contact us to discuss how our change might impact you as a client or simply to find out more.