More and more companies are trying out how a short work week would function, as we experienced at the beginning of May, thanks to two public holidays falling on Mondays. The assumption is that relaxed and satisfied employees will be more productive, so employers also benefit.
Working only four days and having the remaining three off appeals to people, but the company must ensure it does not become a problem for them. Some companies also cut employees’ wages.
Thousands of companies have introduced or tested a four-day workweek worldwide, and at least some employees of dozens of software, consulting, and financial companies in the Czech Republic have been allowed to have it.
The financial company Citfin introduced the four-day workweek five years ago. One-fifth of its employees can use it. It has proven successful in the dealing department, where currency exchange transactions are closed in a call center. A four-day workweek is not limited to Fridays but also to other days. However, people do not have an additional day off during demanding months.
“If employees meet their monthly plan, they will work only four days a week the following month. Everyone can realistically achieve the plan, and then they agree on the days off so that the department operates smoothly,” explained Dagmar Rottova on behalf of the company.
According to expert Jan Kluson, it is incorrect if a company implements a shortened workweek regime where employees still have to work 40 hours a week, which they fit into four days. “Companies should simplify internal processes so that the same amount of work can be done in a shorter time,” said the manager.
Performance is often a real problem, said the manager of a large e-commerce group who wished to remain anonymous. When Friday is free, it’s easy for employees to view Thursday as a new Friday and not do much work after lunch, wanting to leave for their cottages early in the afternoon. Then, after three days of complete rest on Monday, they are sluggish and need time to ramp up.
Is a four-day week being introduced elsewhere?
British companies have tried the four-day workweek and want to continue. Similarly to the Czech Republic, Great Britain asks whether a four-day workweek would benefit employees and employers. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson would like to introduce a shorter work week.