Joanna Marklove
Joanna Marklove

Articles From the Team

4 day working week?

Moving into 2022 I have recently seen more and more press relating to big firms moving to a 4 days working week, so I thought given we are all in a new world of hybrid working, is a 4 day a week a stretch to far, or the next big thing??

There was a recent article which discussed Iceland having moved to 4 days a week after trialling it between 2015-2019. They actually labelled it a great success. Reykjavik city council ran the trial and moved to a 40 hour week to 35.

Other countries are now looking to trial this including USA, Canada and Ireland so it will be interesting to see if the law firms follow. The research suggests working to this new model makes the work place a more efficient machine and improves overall productivity.  Some agencies largely in marketing are operating in this way and working on a rota so the teams are covered on all days.   Studies are largely surrounding stress levels and productivity and seeing if this is really going to give people a real life balance between work and home life.

But does the four day a week model make businesses more focused and productive? It’s a move away from measuring how long people are in work to a sharp focus on the output of the teams.

For some businesses it could be a stretch too far as not all have the staffing/infrastructure to allow for this. What fits for a large finance team might not work for a smaller firm. Lawyers have a complex and stressful role so firms might have to work this model in a different way. They may have to extend hours into the evening or make start times earlier. Some may not feel working 10 hours from 8 would work and so don’t feel the trade off would be worth it. However some feel they already work these hours so having a Friday off would be life changing.

Wellbeing of staff is a big focus and so firms and taking more time that ever to make sure employees are getting the best balance possible.  Researchers from Auckland University found 4 days a week worked. It was great for staff retention, wellbeing and found teams functioned better and stronger than previously.  It's not always about the money.

So with this becoming a growing topic, will firms open the door??

Let's see what 2022 brings...

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