be on the weekend thursday night or not back to work until Tuesday morning? Perspectives that make more than one dream. The 4-day week is attracting more and more companies that can count on the precious help of Emilie Bourg and Barbara Mercati to be supported in this transition. meeting.
Émilie and Barbara are independent HR consultants. Émilie specializes in training and innovation in human resources (management, quality of life at work and engagement), while Barbara, a trained occupational psychologist, has a solid experience in generalist HR development. Together, the two women chose to support companies in setting up the 4-day week, they explain to POSITIVR:
“We are passionate about people and the big HR issues that challenge businesses: working time, wellbeing at work, engagement at work. Above all, we are convinced that a happy and committed employee will fully contribute to the success of his company. We have always been looking for win-win arrangements.†
Their mission? Study the four-day weekly plan in its entirety: from idea to concrete implementation, including what each of the actors will experience and feel. “We’re also looking at workplace productivity issues associated with this implementation.”
Do more and more companies want to take the plunge?
Yes, the subject is known. The 4-day week is coming to some European countries, so leaders are wondering about the device. More and more companies are faced with problems with recruitment, retention, high turnover… All this costs the company. Business leaders are therefore looking for ways to reduce these costs.
This mainly concerns the quality of life and working conditions (QVCT) of its employees: today the company in general has to attach more importance to these questions. And it certainly concerns any type of business : We are requested by companies from VSEs (very small companies) to business groups, including larger companies. And, in particular, all sectors together : we exchange with industry as well as the food sector or even the catering industry.
What are the benefits of switching to a four-day workweek for a business executive? And the cons?
We conducted a major national survey that we just completed on June 30. We had more than 1,400 comments including 62% employees, 12% corporate human resources, 11% students and 10% corporate executives and 5% job seekers. We also conducted interviews with companies for which the 4-day working week already exists.
What emerges in terms of benefits is clearly theimproving quality of life and working conditions (cited by 69% of respondents), but also theimproved engagement employees (cited by 47% of respondents). And due to the bounce-back effect, a more committed employee will be a more motivated, productive, loyal employee and even less sick.
On the other hand, we realize that it is the organization of work, because of its complexity, that could slow down companies (quoted at 59%). Indeed, setting up the 4-day week could involve reorganizing activities, or professions, etc. Depending on the size of the company, this is a change that can be scary!
Also, 27% of business leaders in our survey cited a fear of seeing the company’s overall responsiveness deteriorate or experiencing delays in the delivery of products or projects. This goes hand in hand with the organization of work. Removing these obstacles involves: background work†
What advice do you give to companies?
One must deconstructing organizational models that we know. Society is evolving, business must follow. It is quite natural to think that the activity of the company will not be compatible with the 4-day week… It is necessary to study, to gain height on one’s own organization, to be guided and above all to test, because nothing is certain.
Is this model suitable for all professions?
Maybe not right away, in certain sectors there are other steps to be taken up front, other questions to be asked upstream for certain professions. To set up and succeed the 4-day week, the base and the desire must already be there† But in the end, the 4-day week raises all these questions and especially brings up the subject of flexibility at work in a broad sense: that’s what interests us too!
How do you envision the world of work in 50 years?
The company/employee relationship must evolve† People are constantly looking for meaning, they are also looking for more autonomy, more alignment with the values of their company. He wants to try, discover, we notice it with the advent of slashers (or multi-assets), that is, a person who daily combines different professional activities, usually through the choice of life.
Mission-driven companies will also increasingly attract young talent. The cooperative associations, whose number is only increasing, show the interest shown in the values of these structures: total transparency, joint strategic decision-making, profit sharing. Becoming an employee will definitely be a model in the future!
Now you know how to convince your company to switch to the 4-day week. And if you are the head of a company yourself, you know what to do to combine well-being and productivity.