Is the 5-day week outdated and inflexible for both employees and organisations alike?
In agency world, as with many sectors it’s common to run a 24/7 operation, particularly when businesses operate globally. However, from an employment point of view we are still locked into the rather outdated concept of 9 to 5, 5 days a week.
Employees want more flexibility, they want to work from home, they want to build their home schedules around work, rather than the other way around. So, is it time to completely review the way we structure our working life for the benefit of everyone?
Is the 4-day week the answer or is it just a case of tinkering with a current outdated way of working? Why do we need to lock ourselves into work by days, why can’t we operate in a different way discounting days and focusing on output? Clearly this is very dependent on job types and driven by customer and consumer demands.
In our world of communication and all the functions which support what we do, I would say a majority would cope with a more flexible working arrangement. So, if someone preferred to start at 5am and work for 3 to 4 hours, then have family commitments for another 5 hours, before restarting their work later in the day. This could be feasible. What’s important is that they get the work done, the work could be of a higher standard because they are working when they are relaxed and ready.
Could we go a stage further and do away with formal holiday allocation? In an ideal world where employees are free to take what they want, when they want. The only rule would be they have to have completed their work. We very well may be empowering our workforce to choose when they work, which would lead to higher performance, better creativity and innovation also improved wellbeing for the employee.
"So, is it time to completely review the way we structure our working life for the benefit of everyone?"
My thoughts on the 4-day week is it doesn’t go far enough, it won’t tackle the changing demands by our teams and the way we do business. We need to be more radical and think of the output and effectiveness rather than hours or days spent on the job.
By Dale Parmenter - CEO