Here at VBN we’re all about working smarter to make life easier, whether it’s entrepreneurs running startups and SMEs or the employees themselves. Now it turns out that our approach isn’t just beneficial for people’s work-life balance. These improvements in health and wellness also help the environment! How? By prioritizing a balanced life and reducing inefficiencies in the workplace, businesses can institute policies like work-at-home or remote-work options that allow people to be with their families and save them from the hassle of commuting, which has the benefit of reducing carbon emissions. Implementing four day work weeks would also greatly lessen power consumption, helping the environment and also reducing the electricity bill!
Science SaysScientific American confirms the 4-day workweek’s environmental and economic benefits. When employees have three day weekends, without necessarily decreasing the amount of hours worked per week, businesses save money, help the environment and also improve the health and wellness of their people. They draw from examples that include law firms and government offices, which made savings without any loss of productivity. They no longer needed to power lights, elevators or computers during Fridays, and janitors also didn’t have to clean vacant offices. The savings were most significant in summer because of lessened air conditioning use. In terms of environmental impact, the changes were also significant. Employees were on the road 20% less, so office power consumption and road traffic decreased significantly. This means carbon emissions are lessened. And people spend less time commuting, Hallelujah!
In PracticeHere are a few examples of such policies being implemented and achieving those awesome benefits we mentioned:
- New Zealand firm Perpetual Guardian trialed a 4-day work week and their staff were happier and 20% more productive. Staff stress decreased from 45% to 38%, and work-life balance scores increased from 54% to 78%.
- Pursuit Marketing in the UK reported a 29.5% increase in productivity since switching to a four-day work week and they’ve been at it for a couple of years now. Employees reported having more energy during work because they have more time to be with their families.
- The Institute for Labour Economics’s 2014 study shows that productivity diminishes after the 35th hour of weekly work. The longer people worked, the less efficient they get. On the other hand, people are more relaxed and more productive with shorter hours.