Five smiling young people lying down with their heads all arranged in the centre

Is a four-day working week the key to employee wellbeing?

Consider ways to prioritise your people

Move over three. Four could soon be the new magic number.

The echoes are getting louder by the day. A four-day working week – the way to help employees prioritise their work/life balance.

But will a week packed with more hours in fewer days have us working smarter and not harder? is providing an extra day off for your staff really the perfect way to boost employee wellbeing?

The Bank Holiday conundrum

There’s no denying it. Every Brit loves an extended weekend. A three-day break to spend time with the family, get our accounts in order or simply enjoy a little ‘me’ time.

A four-day working week is no different. Roughly 32 hours jam-packed into your schedule to focus on everything you usually would over five. It certainly appeals. Recruitment and retention of top talent may improve, and an extra day away from the office certainly helps your business contribute towards a positive impact on Mother Earth.

A study by the University of Cambridge found that a four-day week significantly reduced stress and illness, with a 65% reduction in sick days. It also reported company revenue barely changed during their trial period, in fact increasing by 1.4%.

Zest CEO Matt Russell recently noted record sick days have exposed the need to shake up employee benefits. This proves that more must be done to protect your people. After all, they’re your most important asset.

Whether that’s by exploring a four-day working week or implementing an employee benefits platform designed to focus on wellbeing, it’s important to get it right.

The expert’s opinion

While the jury may still be out on whether the four-day working week is the way forward, Lucy Woolfenden, Founder of The Scale Up Collective, is an advocate of this new way of working, believing that it has in fact made her company more efficient.

‘Introducing a four-day working week has had an incredibly positive impact on our team. We’ve had really good reviews from clients. They’ve never felt like we’re not available to them regardless of our reduced week.

‘The feedback the team gives me is that they feel refreshed and excited about Monday mornings. It means that they have time to follow their passions. We have one person who owns her own stationery line so uses Friday to focus on that. Another, volunteers for a dog charity. Employees have the chance to do something they love, which ultimately motivates them.

‘Work is something they come to and love, and through a four-day week they’ll do better work for our clients. The key benefit is a more effective team. A more motivated team.’

How can you prioritise employee wellbeing without a four-day week?

Simple – cram your wellbeing offering full of things your people need.

Flexible working, personalised benefits, mental health support – the works.

While a four-day working week will be beneficial to some, employees are always looking for ways to look after their health, wealth and self. Wellbeing at work shouldn’t simply be about an extra day off. It should be about supporting colleagues on a daily basis.

The four pillars of wellbeing, created by our resident guru Daniel Jeynes, is the perfect guide to taking your wellbeing approach to the next level. It’s full of tips you can benefit from, so your impact feeds into the work and personal life of your people, creating healthier, happier, more productive employees.

As the technology of benefits, our user-friendly platform helps you to make smart decisions with intelligent insights, making the selection and renewal of benefits simple.

Find out how you can ‘benefit’ and add a little Zest to your business.

Written by:
Ready to find out how we can Zestify your business?