How Switching To A 35-Hour Work Week Can Improve Your Company’s Bottom Line
Observing a 35-hour work week in France is the law. In 1999, the cap was introduced, and since then many companies around the world have begun adopting non-traditional work weeks to their benefit. It might seem like a big dramatic change for your company, but overhauling your work schedule is huge for employee satisfaction.
Sure, there are other ways to cut costs, but laying off staff, freezing wages, and reducing benefits are dramatic and can decrease employee satisfaction at work. Less impactful cost-cutting methods, like reducing utility costs by comparing business gas rates, are another way to go, but those savings might not be enough over time.
Ultimately, your company’s greatest resource is your staff, their time, and their attention. The key to a well-functioning (and profitable) business is having happy employees.
Here are the ways that a 35-hour work week will benefit your employees.
Better work-life balance
Most companies run on a 40-hour work week, but there are some fields where employees end up working much longer hours than that in any given week. Factor in longer commutes for your staff, plus the longer workdays, and it can start to wear people down. Again, you want satisfied employees, not employees struggling with burn out.
Employee satisfaction is directly tied to work-life balance. More and more, people who are on the hunt for a job say salary isn’t the most important aspect of a role, but rather the work-life balance that is more appealing. Having time to spend with family, friends, pets, or participating in hobbies is important to people, and condensing the work week is a great way to ensure this can be a reality.
When your employees are burnt out from being overworked, it can lead to struggles with mental health, like anxiety and stress. How can someone be at their best and do their best work if they’re stressed or struggling to focus? The answer is that they can’t.
Inefficiencies and wasted time that comes from poor productivity costs your company money, and the best way to eliminate these efficiencies is to ensure your employees are satisfied at work.
Giving your staff more time away from their desks allows them the chance to take a break and refresh their brains, so they’re ready to come in again tomorrow with lots of energy to tackle the day. People who have time to unwind and de-stress after a day’s work show up the next day in a better mood and more willing to get tasks done. Fewer mistakes are made as well, which could reduce some costs related to human error.
Shorter work weeks also mean the company will have to work smarter, not harder, to get the same tasks done in a shorter amount of time. This might sound stressful, but with streamlined processes and more energetic staff, this goal can easily be achieved.
So, is a shorter work week right for your company?
That is to say, does your company enjoy healthier bottom lines and increased productivity?
Carefully consider the processes you have in place now, and think about the non-monetary costs that potentially could arise during a transition, like possible missed deadlines. However, if transitioned properly to a condensed schedule, there may not be any downsides at all.
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