Four-day working week needs careful management to prevent burnout

by uma
Editorial & Advertiser disclosure

While the four-day working week being trialled by businesses across the UK will be beneficial, global provider of talent outsourcing and advisory services, AMS (formerly Alexander Mann Solutions) has warned that staff will need clear guidance and support to prevent burnout.

Responding to the news today that a range of employers have introduced reduced working weeks without a loss of pay, AMS has warned that employees will need assistance to adjust to the change to ensure individuals aren’t working additional hours over the agreed working days in order complete their required work in four days.

Paul Modley, Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at AMS, commented:

“The flexibility of being able to work four days a week will certainly help create a better work-life balance for some workforces. However, this concept is new to individuals and businesses alike. The key hurdle to overcome if this is to be successful is the careful management of workloads. If staff are cutting their hours by 20% but their workload and delivery expectations remain the same, employers could face a scenario where people are struggling to meet expectations and failing to take breaks or working overtime during the new working week in order to gain an additional day off.”

“With the right communication and careful management a four day week can work, but without appropriate implementation, employees can become disengaged with a brand or even feel disgruntled with the forced reduction of days. In an economy where talent shortages are rife and retaining staff is a critical business priority, it’s important to ensure that any changes to work set ups are delivering against the needs of individuals as well as the company. At AMS all of our roles can flex to some degree so we have experience in making different working methods successful across the globe. It’ll be interesting to see the results of this trial, but the information that will be most valuable from my point of view will be the feedback of staff themselves, not just the productivity data from the businesses.”

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