The REALITY of the 4-Day Work Week
It’s not a myth, you can do it!!
Obviously, if it’s hard, it’s usually worth doing, so let’s get after it!
We had a great response from Tom A. about his experience with a 4-Day work week. See below:
**As a member for 26 years, I had as many as eleven employees in the field. All employees. We worked a 4-Day, 40-hour week from 1982 to 2020. Fewer set-ups and break-downs per week, fewer breaks per week. And less gas to run vehicles. More productive in the 10 hours. I relate it to recycling… I grew up in the early 60s and composting, as well. Give it a try. Friday off. And when there is a Monday holiday. What a break!!**
Good job, Tom! Such an example to follow!
Thank you for your response here. I hope we can get more of your great input and others too along the way!
Who’s our audience on this topic?
Hey PRO-New England Business Owner!! If you have a payroll of field personnel, this could resonate with you… A Remodeling Contractor with 2-6 W-2 Carpenters on staff.
Let’s explore a kernel of this topic for Part 2 below…..
Why is this new schedule “Good for Business”? Ultimately, any business decision we make has to make sense and be “Good 4 Biz”. Working 1 less day in the field has some naturally beneficial effects. As Tom stated so plainly in his response, working a longer day is more productive and the cost savings of one less workday per week can really add up!! (We’ll dig into the Math in future articles.) In the meantime, if one of our illustrious members has been doing this successfully since 1982, it must work and work well! In Parts to come, we will try to make this point with specific cost savings you can track and feel good about. Maybe in the meantime, you can think about how much time your crew spends every day on unproductive activities like Setup, Lunch Break (Start-stop time), and Cleanup at the end of the day… Then tell me what percentage of an 8-Hour day that unproductive time equates to… Shocked, you will be!
Soon, we will continue to explore how to boost your bottom line by leveraging this newfound weekly efficiency.
**The questions below will be explored in future parts, as well. I encourage you to comment here.
What has to change “structurally” to make this work?
Change will be hard, but worth the effort. The first thing is to adjust how you think and talk about the workweek. The 4-day workweek might seem at first like you’re slacking on Fridays, but YOU are still working, the field crew is recovering. Carpentry is physically demanding. Carpenters need rest to be the best!!
Next, set the example and communicate to create the desired Business CULTURE around this shift. If you have employees now, host a breakfast at 6:45am and discuss with them how you all might benefit if the workday starts @ 7am and goes to 5:30pm. Everyone needs to buy in, though, including the crew’s families. There is NO partial effort here. That will breed resentment in the crew and that’s NEVER the goal.
You can try it for a week, too. Just plan a week where you all are not REQ’D onsite that Friday. Don’t forget to tell your HomeOwner your plan!!
I never get phone calls saying, “Where is everybody?”. We talked about it first and I put it in our contracts. Try this trial week in early March and let us know how it goes!
Good for Biz is Good for Work Force development (WFD)?
Again, Carpenters need rest to be the best!! From the perspective of your in-house WorkForce (Carpenters), having Fridays off is awesome and with young families and younger generations of carpenters, Work/Life BALANCE is pretty important. As the business owners, we can’t direct our crews to do something positive with the extra day of not working, we can only create the opportunity. As I talk to new potential hires, it is actually a point of excitement. Fridays can be an extra night of weekend camping. It could mean making that youth sporting event. It could mean an entire day bonding with your newborn. Or maybe a cardio workout day or time for a mental health check-in. There are boundless positive ways to spend the time off. You, as the business owner, have an opportunity too. When was the last time you (yourself) had a “Quiet” Friday?? I bet rarely. Well, let’s be honest, you don’t really get too many easy days, but this could be the start of something new!?!? What would YOU do with the time? You might fill it with the week’s overflow activities or do some “DEEP WORK” with your never-present laser-focus. You could swing by the job site and happen to connect with the Owner while there for a “Quality” check-up. I don’t know, but the possibilities are endless and I know you will find the right way to spend that time, every time too. And for your new hires, what a great way to start a journey in Carpentry knowing that Fridays off are an actual part of a viable CAREER path.
Thank you & More to follow……
***This article is a multi-part OpEd to encourage other Biz-Owners to consider the 4-Day work week.
We want to hear from you! Share your struggles and successes with your PRO-NE WFD Support Team.