In an effort to boost employee morale and productivity, it has been revealed that many companies throughout the United States are offering employees the option of working longer hours Monday through Thursday in exchange for Friday, or some of Friday off.
Employers are starting to realize Friday afternoons are pretty unproductive all across the board, and that workers will probably appreciate the time off more than a cheesy ice cream social, company picnic or late afternoon drinks. While I don’t think anything could ever beat working from home, a 4-day workweek sounds like one heck of an improvement to the typical Monday through Friday grind.
Some companies have also realized that closing down every Friday, or even every other Friday, is proving to be a beneficial cost-saving technique. Shutting down the building saves money AND makes employees happier and more productive? Why wouldn’t a company do this?
Americans live some of the unhealthiest lifestyles, often working 50-60+ hour workweeks which leave little time for leisure activities, exercise, spending time with family and cooking healthy meals. It’s no surprise that so many people are depressed, overweight and exhausted all the time when they’re forced to revolve their life around the majority of their waking hours sitting in a cubicle.
One day a week might not sound like a lot, but a three day weekend gives employees the opportunity to get more rest, spend more time outdoors, catch up on important tasks that need to get done during the week, and save money on gas if they have a long commute. Parents can spend more time with their children and less money on daycare services. Vacations can go for an extra day without putting a dent in vacation time.
Employees can simply have more of a life outside of their job, which could increase productivity while they actually are working. Who knows, maybe employees will respect their bosses more if they are given flexibility and treated like humans rather than cattle.
Do you have an employer that offers flexibility? If so, how has it improved your life? If not, would an additional day or half-day off increase your productivity?
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