Just this Friday, Forbes posted an article called “It's High Time For The 4-Day Workweek.” The post talks about how employers should provide shorter workweeks, particularly allowing workers to only work four out of the five weekdays.
Interestingly enough, the article specifically calls out the baby boomer generation, pointing out that they are running more errands than before, that a weekday off each week will allow them to be more productive and that the extra time off will allow them to take care of their elderly parents.
Well, it’s not just the baby boomers that need flexibility. Every generation needs flexibility but the four-day workweek is not going to cut it. It sounds great at first but once people get used to a four-day workweek, they’ll want a three-day workweek. Why not just leave it up to the employees since everyone's situation is different?
Think about how technology has affected the workplace. It is moving faster than many people can even keep up with. Workers are constantly using technology to do work. Take, for example, the tablet, the smartphone and the laptop. Whether they realize it or not, everyone has access to work 24-hours per day.
Therefore, many employees today are working around the clock. They are checking and responding to emails, making phone calls and doing other work-related tasks during their personal time. So, why not let them do personal tasks during work time?
As long as employees are getting their work done in an effective and timely manner, they should be able to choose when and where they are working on their assignments and projects. For baby boomers, if that means taking mom to her doctor next Wednesday, then so be it. For millennials, if that means leaving at noon to making it to a concert on time, then let them do it.
A four-day workweek is a short-term fix. True flexibility at work will have a much longer lasting impact. Let’s stop looking at how much time people need off because that is going to change from generation to generation or from industry to industry.
If an employee is not getting the work done, forcing them to be at their desk five days per week is not going to help. Give employees control of their schedules. Force managers and leaders to hold their employees accountable for the work, rather than micromanaging their schedules.
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