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What are the pros and cons of a four day week?
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Four day weeks can cause a dip in customer satisfaction levels

Four day working weeks have the potential to cause customer dissatisfaction depending on the industry it is adapted in. Particularly for small businesses who cannot afford to hire staff to cover each other, issues of customer demand versus availability arise.
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The Argument

For many businesses big and small, four day working weeks have benefits, such as reduction in overheads and a more productive and less stressed workforce. There are concerns, however, that the availability of four day working weeks will not be able to meet customer demand, especially where there is now an increasing demand for 24 hour service. For Laura Giffard, the founder of Perq Studio, introducing a four day week had many implications to consider. Although the business clients made the business sector agnostic, a general theme that cut across the client base was that Monday was the day where everyone picked up and hit the ground running, and by the end of Thursday and Friday, people were concerned about completing their deadlines and these were also days that were likely to attract more last minute enquiries. This allowed employees only two days in the middle of the week. A rota system was considered, but it was considered that this may add complexities and confusion for clients due to lack of continuity and those with specialist knowledge being absent on the day required. Although this company was able to, with the input of their clients create a four day working week, it required consideration of client needs, and a workforce full of self-starters, and a "no moonlighting clause". Other firms, such as Greenrow Communications, found that a four day week would not be feasible. This is as the firm is small, and built on the ability to react quickly to customer needs. The business model works on an around the clock service, and although flexibility is built into the working patterns, a four day weeks is not possible in small businesses built on such models. [1]

Counter arguments

Taking the example of Perq Studio, Laura Giffard managed to implement four day work weeks around their clients. Due to the beginning and the end of the week being the busiest, the best day to implement the four day week for her company was Tuesday. This was successfully implemented without compromising the customer's needs. With other industries, closing for one day is not feasible. GreenDropShip has to process orders on a daily basis. It has, however, managed to create a rota system incorporating a four day week. In this case staff agreed to work Monday to Wednesday and had the option of taking off either Thursday or Friday, with a booking system should an alternative day off be needed. It is argued that communicating with clients, setting boundaries on availability and response time and managing expectations will assist in the transition to a four day week successfully. [2]



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 15:57 UTC

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