4 Day Week challenges for Time and Attendance
With news that 30 companies in the UK are now trialling a 4-day working week. The once fantasy now looks more like reality. But what are the challenges of a 4 day week for your time and attendance rules?
Today we’ll look at the reason why 4-day weeks are coveted. How you can ensure it doesn’t negatively affect your business. And what a time and attendance system can do to help you stay on track.
The History of the 4 Day working week
The idea of reduced working hours is not exactly new. Observers have long predicted that automation would lead to a shorter working week.
As far back as 1930 notable economist JM Keynes even predicted that technological advances would eventually lead to a 15 hour week.
While that may be some time off, there is no denying the overall trend in both employers and employees recognising the many positive benefits of a reduced working week.
A 2012 human resources report on flexible working found that 73% of employers surveyed felt that implementing flexible working practices had a positive impact on staff retention. With a similar figure reporting a positive impact on employee motivation.
Two years later, a 2014 YouGov survey found 57% of workers supported the idea of a 4-day weekmedical world has particularly identified the four day week as a much-needed counterbalance to modern life.
So what are the perks of a four day week?
- Family life: reduced working hours are especially helpful to parents with young children and workers with other caring responsibilities. A ‘long hours’ work culture has been shown to have detrimental effects on family life and can lead to increased stress;
- Health: shorter working hours contribute to less stress for employees who can have more time to rest, exercise or enjoy leisure time. It can also mean one less day spent on hectic commuting!
- Work-life balance: All these reasons lead to better work-life balance but there are other simple perks such as being able to do ‘working hour’ errands during the week or taking the time for extra skills training or other learning;
- Productive workforce: for employers, having a flexible working policy can lead to happier and more positive workers. Less stress and sickness means higher productivity and better morale. Research has also shown that workers become more focussed on their tasks when working in a compressed time frame;
- Retention and recruitment benefits: research has also shown that a 4-day week or other flexible working means that employees feel more loyalty to their organisation resulting in less staff turnover for businesses. Demonstrating flexibility is also a key feature in attracting staff.
So for employees, a 4-day week is all about work-life balance and for employers, it’s about a more motivated and productive workforce.
While the benefits of a more flexible approach seem undisputed, organisations need also to consider the practicalities.
Can a 4-day week negatively affect your business?
When switching your work schedule around it’s important to find answers to questions like:
- How can you keep track of the hours which employees are working?
- Can you be sure output matches hours?
- How can you track productivity or ‘culture’?
When looking at all three questions, first employers must have the right tools to deal with the new complexities that flexible working can inevitably bring.
An automated time and attendance system such as uAttend is ideal for keeping track of 4-day week hours worked, and clocking can be done via 6 methods.
This is important, as it means there is 0 excuse why workers aren’t tracking their reduced hours. Off-site? Use the App. On-site, there’s the clocking terminal or web browser. Don’t have an internet connection? Phone call clocking is available.
By tracking your employee hours, you’ll not only ensure you’re getting the full 4 day hours but will also get access to a host of data.
It’s this data that can be broken down to answer questions about output and culture.
If you can see labour costs by individual, department or shift – you can compare that to output.
This output should match the 5-day output, then you know you’re not seeing a negative impact.
If employees are on-time, have less absence and time theft is reduced. It also shows you the impact the change has had on company culture.
Happier employees mean more productivity and reduced unauthorised absence.
Ready to make the switch to 4-days?
With uAttend, you’ll be able to run reports on data such as clocking time, absence, payroll data and more. So you can make sure you’re getting the best output on the reduced hours.
Want to know more about 4-day week time and attendance: Check out our benefits of flexible work infographic.
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