The 4-day working week is a hot topic at the moment, with many companies considering the switch to boost productivity and employee morale. The concept is simple: instead of working five days a week, your team would work four days a week but would still be paid for five. This would give the staff more time to enjoy their personal lives and pursue other interests while still receiving the same pay.
According to an article by Euronews, a 4-day working week has already been introduced by many countries, among which are Spain, Iceland, Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand, Japan, UAE, and Belgium. Cool right?
But are companies ready for this? The CEO of not-for-profit group 4 Day Week Global, Joe O’Connor says that: “As we emerge from the pandemic, more and more companies are recognizing that the new frontier for the competition is quality of life”. And the quality of life now means having more free time and space for employees.
However, there are still some things to consider before starting a 4-day work week.
Let’s start positive and go through 5 pros of trying a 4-day workweek in your contact center:
1. Increased Productivity
Studies have shown that workers are more productive when they work fewer hours, and we are talking about a 20% increase in effectiveness. So, by trimming down the workweek, you could see a boost in productivity from your team.
2. Improved Employee Engagement
Employees with a good work/life balance are typically more engaged and satisfied with their jobs. A four-day workweek could help your team members feel more balanced and, as a result, more engaged and loyal to the company.
Fewer office hours equals higher focus levels, and people concentrate to the degree that usually cannot be reached on a five-day week.
3. Reduced Turnover
High turnover can be expensive and disruptive for contact centers, especially with the millennial generation representatives, who constantly search for better options. But happy, engaged employees are less likely to leave their jobs. According to Elephant Ventures, a software company headquartered in New York, a shortened work week helped them to both recruit new talents and retain the old ones.
4. Decreased stress levels
When employees are satisfied and have a good work/life balance, their stress levels would accordingly drop, influencing your team’s mental and physical well-being in a positive way. As it’s known, stress can be a reason for burn-out and performance degradation. And we do not want that. Overall, less stress at work for your employees, more free mind, strength, basically engagement they would have for their work.
5. Better Customer Service
Happy, engaged employees tend to serve customers with more information and enthusiasm. Essentially, happy employees make happy customers, and they are more likely to come back and purchase your products or services once again.
I know it sounds like a dream, but in terms of the research and trials mentioned in the article, this dream seems to be practical and fruitful for any business. Just try it and see if it’s working for you. But before diving into a 4-day work week at your contact center, check out some tips to help you make the transition:
1. Encourage contact center agents to take advantage of their extra day off
If you want agents to benefit from a four-day work week, encourage them to use their extra day off to rest and recharge. This could mean taking a mental health day, exploring a new hobby, or simply spending time with family and friends.
2. Offer flexible scheduling options.
A four-day work week doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone needs to take the same day off. To make things more flexible (and to avoid the Monday blues), consider offering employees a choice of which day they’d like to take off each week.
How will your company operate with fewer days? What will employees be expected to accomplish in a shorter work week?
It’s crucial to organize the work schedule in such a way that there’s always someone when customers need help. Get a tool and plan it all in there, so your agents can always see themselves when they can have a day off and when they have to be at work.
4. Encourage communication and collaboration.
With employees working different days, it’s important to encourage communication and collaboration. This could mean setting up regular team meetings or using a project management tool like Trello or Asana.
5. Be open to feedback.
A four-day work week may not be for everyone, and that’s okay. Be open to feedback from employees and make changes accordingly. You may find that a four-day work week works well for some agents but not others or that certain departments are more productive with a five-day work week.
6. Evaluate regularly.
The four-day work week is not a set-it-and-forget-it solution. Evaluate how it's working regularly and make changes if needed. If the expected results are not achieved, you can always go back to a 5-day working model. Maybe warn your team about that so they are motivated to be on time with a shorter workweek.
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