Five steps to getting started with a four-day week

Thinking about trialling a four-day week in your own business? Here's where to start.

In this series on the four-day week, we've covered some of the motivations for implementing it and how you can measure and track its success.

In our final article of the series, you'll find five practical steps to help you trial the four-day week. You can also revisit the previous articles in the series at the bottom of this page.

(1) Ascertain which model is right for your business

The compressed model – as supported across Belgium – could work well for energetic teams who can do four longer days, but to capture the spirit of the four-day week movement then the 100-80-100 model is one which truly encourages greater productivity. If it works, it will result in happier staff working efficiently – and with no loss of revenues.

(2) Bring the staff onside

It's not just about giving them a free day off – staff need to understand that they will need to streamline the way they work if the scheme is to be a success. Also, remember that not everyone will be completely sold on the idea. Neil Knowles at Elektra Lighting was surprised to face some pushback to the idea that annual leave should drop to 16 days – even though everyone was getting every Friday off.

(3) Work out your KPIs

Before you begin, you need to know how you will measure a variety of metrics, from sales to customer satisfaction to employee engagement and happiness. Shop around for the right tools to help you do this.

(4) Spread the word

If a four-day week means that your businesses will henceforth be closed every Friday, for example, it is important that you explain to clients what you are doing, why it will hopefully be a good thing for your company, and how they can continue to work with you in as seamless a manner as possible. If, however, you're continuing to offer seven-day service – like CMG Technologies – you may not need to alert your clients at all. MD Rachel Garrett said that around 90 per cent of their customers probably still don't know that employees work a four-day week.

(5) Establish a safety net

If you see revenues slide by “x” per cent, or staff are suddenly taking more sick days due to burn-out, it may be your cue to reverse the clock. As all of our four-day week advocates have insisted, nothing has to be forever. With good planning and a willing team, however, you'll have a strong chance of making a success of it.

What to do next?

We have a wide range of content dedicated to helping you solve crucial business challenges, but here are some suggestions:

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