You might have stumbled upon buzzwords like “work-life balance” or “flexible working hours” recently. One concept that’s been making waves is the 4-day work week. But is it all it’s hyped up to be?
Our Journey with the 4-Day Work Week
A few years ago, whispers about a New Zealand accounting firm adopting a 4-day work week reached our ears. Their experiment wasn’t just a temporary gimmick; they saw tangible benefits and made it a regular fixture.
At Milicevic Lawyers, we champion forward-thinking. So, we thought, “Why not give it a try?” If our clients are satisfied and our deliverables remain top-notch, what’s the harm?
The trial with that employee is now a permanent fixture, and flexible work arrangements are available to all employees.
Benefits Galore for Employees
Our initial trial led to a realisation – this wasn’t just beneficial; it was transformative. Imagine the joy of a 3-day weekend and occasionally the extra, extra-long weekend. It’s not just about leisure; it’s also about those life chores and admin that magically pile up over weekends. Or, even more importantly, having the ability to care for kids and elderly parents (yes, the pressures of the sandwich generation are shared!).
This is a genuine work-life balance.
Employees can save a lot of travel time and costs.
It is also an opportunity for employees to continue doing the work they love. It’s not a question of if I work I can’t do… but I work, and I can!
The Employer’s Perspective
Now, I won’t sugarcoat it. As employers, we did need to invest a bit more time upfront. There were payroll adjustments, leave recalibrations and a mindset shift. Traditionally seen as demanding constant engagement, legal work was now being effectively managed in just four days. Yes, it can be done.
But beyond these initial hiccups, some unexpected rewards appeared (apart from feeling good about it). Our workplace thrived on trust, flexibility and mutual respect. Quick hand-offs became the norm, and on the rare occasion an issue popped up on an employee’s day off, our tight-knit team handled it seamlessly.
The results? A happier, more productive team and a great culture. There have been fewer days off and less stress in the office. When employees are at work, they are here to work; they are not just here to be “present”. We’ve noticed our team to be less stressed, more rejuvenated and engaged.
Client Management: A Breeze
We won’t deny it – we were apprehensive about our clients’ reactions. However, with clear communication and expectation setting, the transition was smoother than anticipated. After addressing some initial hiccups, we noticed that our workflow and client satisfaction not only remained steady but also improved. I’m not even sure that new clients even notice any difference.
This 4-day work week isn’t some futuristic concept; it reflects changing work dynamics.
The Milicevic Lawyers Difference
We pride ourselves on our progressive stance. We firmly believe that acknowledging our employees’ lives outside of work translates into a more content, motivated and loyal team. It’s a win-win-win: our team enjoys their work, our business thrives and client’s receive excellent service.
If retaining top talent and having a competitive edge in hiring sounds appealing, maybe it’s time to consider this model?
Some Tips to Implement a 4 Day Work Week
Transitioning to a 4-day work week can be challenging, but it’s worth it. Here are a few tips:
- Start with a trial. This will allow you and your employees to see if the 4-day work week is a good fit for your company and their role.
- Be flexible. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to the 4-day work week. Be willing to experiment and adjust as needed.
- Communicate with your clients. Let your clients know about the change and how it may affect them (if at all).
- Empower your employees. Give your employees the autonomy to manage their own time and workload.
This won’t suit all workplaces or employees, but it can work in many industries. Would you want this flexibility in your workplace? Do you see it as a fleeting trend or the future of work?
Remember, the future is not set in stone. It’s created by bold decisions and fresh perspectives. At Milicevic Lawyers, we’re always ready to help navigate new terrains with you.
Are you considering a similar shift in your business, or have other legal queries? Reach out to us at Milicevic Lawyers. We’re more than just a law firm; we’re your partners in business growth.