THE INC. LIFE

Why More 3-Day Weekends Can Be Good For Your Company

Don’t make the mistake of equating hours spent in the office to productivity

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BY Cristina Morales - 09 Jun 2017

long weekend

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Who doesn’t love a three-day weekend? Regular weekends just don’t seem to cut it—by the time you’ve finally been able to relax, it’s Sunday evening, and you’ve got to prepare for the week to come.

That’s why more and more employers the world over are opting for flexible hours, or even four-day workweeks. “I own SMEs and I am definitely for output over hours spent working,” says Filipino entrepreneur Karla Singson. “Most days we come to the office but as long as my managers know where my people are and they achieve their goals for the day, I'm happy.”

But this trend is nowhere near mainstream, especially in Asia, where many remain unconvinced of flexible work hours’ benefits. And in many industries, shaving off one day can seem unthinkable. “We can barely finish our work within a 6-day workweek. I’m not sure how decreasing number of work days would be good especially for start-ups,” says Scott Kho, owner of Manila-based commercial printing company Gutenberg Print Pack Solutions and photobook e-commerce store Storybook.ph.

But more and more companies, especially in Europe, are experimenting with 3-day weekends. Why should you consider it? Let us count the ways.

1. Health

As Southeast Asia experiences economic progress this Inc. article by Tom Popomaronis points out that “reports of absenteeism, high health care requirements, and accidents/injuries” have a positive correlation with too much overtime. Giving your employees more downtime will help them recharge, decrease stress levels, spend time with their loved ones, and be ready to bring their A-game come Monday.

2. Happiness

It’s no accident that Norway and Denmark are said to be the happiest countries in the world. Apart from solid social infrastructure and low inequality, many attribute these Scandinavian countries’ high happiness levels to their work-life balance.

In the Netherlands, the 4-day workweek has been practically normalized, especially when concerning working mothers; it’s no wonder that Dutch children are the happiest on earth.

3. More productivity

CNN Money points out that economist John Maynard Keynes once posited that technological advancements would eventually cause us to work just 15 hours a week. But, as we all know today, that isn’t the case.

For many of us, it’s just a matter of becoming more efficient—perhaps you’re just not as busy as you think you are. Four-day workweeks give you more of a push to streamline your process and make sure that you’re making the most of your time in the office. Plus, your brain will be more well-rested, allowing you to be more productive.

4. Recruiting

Can’t afford to give your employees expensive perks? Adopting the 4-day workweek model is not only highly appealing to prospective employees, but could also help you save on operating costs. In this Inc. article, TreeHouse CEO and co-founder Ryan Carson says that many of his employees chose his company over major tech companies like Facebook and Twitter, largely because of his three-day weekend policy.