May 22, 2022

The 4-day week in business: what about its specificities and how to manage it?

, through Florent White

This article is sponsored by Lucca

If working only 4 days a week has long seemed like a utopia, several companies are now considering opting for a shorter weekly work schedule. If this new structuring has real advantages, it does however pose various challenges in terms of organization.

What are the specificities of the 4-day week?

As its name suggests, the 4-day week consists of going to work only 4 days a week, compared to the traditional five. This innovative structuring of the pace of work offers employees the possibility of benefiting from three days off per week. In addition, the employee is not affected by any reduction in his remuneration. In the minds of the companies that have opted for the formula, the quality of the work takes precedence over the number of hours of work provided. Concretely, companies have several possibilities to introduce the 4-day week, without cutting back on the remuneration of employees:

  • – A reduction in the number of weekly working hours.
  • – A weekly working time maintained but with an extension of the daily working time.
  • – One working day less without causing changes to the time slot.

Focus on how to manage the 4-day week in business

Whatever alternative is chosen, the implementation of the 4-day week imposes on companies a substantial organizational transformation. In order to simplify the task and avoid making mistakes, it is recommended to use IT solutions designed for this purpose. For example, with leave management software, administrative tasks are simplified and costs controlled. From sick leave to unpaid leave, this type of solution efficiently manages all the absences that a company has to deal with. To find your leave management software, you should pay attention to the features offered. In particular, make sure that the tool used has a reporting module and allows the creation of personalized reports. For an effective HR policy, also ensure that the software is accessible to all of your employees.

4-day week: advantages and disadvantages

If testing the 4-day week is arousing growing interest, it is because of the advantages that the experience provides, both for companies and for employees. 3 testimonials in this article highlight the benefits brought about by this new weekly work rhythm, including:

  • – optimization of professional efficiency;
  • – a real improvement in well-being at work;
  • – a gain in skills among employees who are required to be more versatile.

The 4-day week is also advantageous for companies. The gain in productivity is greater, in particular because employees take fewer breaks and are more focused on their tasks. However, the 4-day week has some drawbacks, including a complex administrative and managerial implementation.

What future for the 4-day week in France?

The 4-day week is not a new idea in France. The principle was defended in 1993 by Antoine Riboud and Pierre Larrouturou. In 1996, the Robien law authorized companies to reduce working hours under certain conditions. If it is still rarely applied today, the 4-day week could find favor with an entrepreneurial universe in search of renewal, in particular because of the deleterious consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on the professional world. Today, the 4-day week is essentially practiced by start-ups which have a reduced workforce, implying lesser organizational changes.

Despite certain obstacles in terms of management, the 4-day week is attractive for the guarantees of efficiency and well-being at work that it provides.