Many employees are sold on the benefits of the 4 day work week. However, employers are more apprehensive. However, with results from trials being released, there could be more benefits to companies than they think. That raises the question, does a 4 day work week save companies money? I carried out some extensive research which is guaranteed to shock you, so much so that your eyes will probably water! Let’s find out why!
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Does 4 day work week save companies money?
Working a 4 day week instead of 5 days can save a company hundreds of thousands annually. Companies who adopted a 4 day work week saw a 20% reduction in electricity costs. There were also savings on heating and ventilation costs, office supplies and paying for cleaners. Salaries for new employees can also be reduced as the 4 day week makes it easier to attract talent. All of these cost savings are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of direct cost savings.
For this article, we will assume that the 4 day work week is based on working fewer hours in the week.
A survey of small firms showed that 67% of workers have a flexible working arrangement. Source
The above provide you just a glimpse into the financial benefits that a 4 day work week can generate for a company. Below, I share with you some incredible cost savings and indirect benefits associated with establishing a 4 day week. With the price of everything only catapulting upwards, some smart business decisions, such as the 4 day week, can be the saving grace to easily put your books in the green.
Does 4 day work week save companies money?
Cost of electricity
If equipment doesn’t need to be started up and shut down each day and staff don’t need to come into an office, this then equates to reduced energy consumption and electricity bills.
Business might brush off this concept, especially if they are tied to manufacturing deadlines or providing customer service at certain hours or days. They could consider adopting a 4 day work week where some staff take Monday off and others take Friday off.
Even if the site can’t shut for a day, with fewer people onsite, less energy is being consumed.
People could even work from home to enable the company to shut the site for the fifth day.
When Microsoft in Japan introduced a shorter work week, they discovered a greater than 20% decrease in electricity costs.
Cost of heating and ventilation
A similar trend appears with heating and ventilation costs. With less or no staff on site 1 day a week, these costs can be slashed by up to 20%.
With the cost of gas only rising, if heating costs can be cut, then a 4 day work week is an effective way to drastically reduce these costs.
It’s not rocket science that having a building open and running for 4 days is generally more cost efficient than having it open for 5 days.
HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Cooling) systems account for approximately 51% of overheads in a commercial building.
Cost of cleaning
The costs of maintaining offices and buildings can be dropped too. For instance, the costs connected to paying for cleaners could be cut by 20% if they’re in the workplace one less day a week.
There’s little to no point cleaning a building if there’s nobody there to dirty it!
Cleaning services can charge anywhere from $200 – $400 per month for a small office (approx. 0 – 1000 sq ft). For larger workspaces (approx. 20,000 – 40,000 sq ft), this price can rise to $2000 + a month
Average savings per year by paying cleaners 1 less day: $1200 – $12,000
Costs of subsidized food and drinks
Many companies provide free tea and coffee at a minimum. Some workplaces take it a step further and offer subsidized food and snacks as well.
With the price of food commodities on the rise, employers are likely to see their food budget spiraling upwards too. Reducing workers in the office for one day can cut these costs by 20% which can easily equate to thousands in savings annually.
The cost of paying for this food and beverages is just one cost saving. In addition, the cost of paying a catering company to prepare and serve such food could also be reduced.
Food subsidies can range on average from $10 – $15 per worker a day.
Related: Does A 4 day Work Week Save Money? Discover How to Save Now!
Cost of attracting workers
In an employee’s market, having the edge on other companies can be the deciding factor between attracting staff and having open vacancies for months on end. Cue the lucrative 3 day weekend!
You can often attract talent much easier than other companies that don’t offer 4 day work week.
Working a 4 day week has a wide range of advantages for workers in terms of their health, wellbeing and phenomenal cost savings of working 1 less day.
Atom Bank received a 500% increase in job applications after announcing a 4 day work week.
Cost of sick leave
With people working longer hours, juggling a hectic life schedule and burnout becoming more present, the number of people suffering from health conditions is rising.
The below table highlights the number of sick days taken by U.S. adults between 2020 – 2021 according to Statista.
|Number of sick days||Percent of adults taking sick leave|
|0||30 – 34%|
|1||7 – 8%|
|2 – 3||16 – 18%|
The cost of sick leave is not only an expense burdened by the company, associated down time and delays are also a side effect of absenteeism.
By adopting a 4 day week, people have more time available to rest and unwind. A trial by a New Zealand business of a 4 day week resulted in staff stress levels decreasing from 45% to 38%.
People are less likely to take stress leave or sick leave if they have more time to rest and recover.
Consequently, less sick leave expenses arise, and employee wellbeing is elevated to a greater level!
62% of 500 business leaders surveyed reported a reduction in absenteeism. This was due to staff having an extra day where they could attend appointments instead of taking time off.
As you can see from above, it’s almost inevitable that moving to a 4 day work week saves a company money. Depending on the company size, hundreds of thousands of unnecessary expenses could be cut every year by adopting this work model.
These include reduced electricity bills, heating and overheads which would be consumed by having people and equipment working an extra day.
Financial benefits of working 4 days is just one advantage to this strategy, find out precisely how the 4 day week could better your life by reading about it in this article I wrote: 4 Day Work Week V 5 Day – Full Of Surprising Facts & Results
If you would like to further enhance your knowledge on work setup and organization, I have written some articles that are without a doubt worth a look.
Here are some other useful articles I wrote that you should go check out:
- Does A 4 Day Work Week Save Money? Discover How to Save Now!
- 4 Day Work Week V 5 Day – Full Of Surprising Facts & Results
- Best 4 Day Work Week Alternatives – 7 Proven Strategies!
- What Is An Active Workstation? – Plus The Amazing Benefits!
- What is the 20-8-2 rule? – A Simple Guide!
- The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (link on Amazon)
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- CoolMesh Pro Multi-Function Chair (link on OfficeFurniture2Go)