As companies try to provide better work/life balance for their employees, one increasingly popular trend has been switching to the 4/10 work schedule.
In this article, we’ll give you the key information you need to know about the 4/10 schedule so you can figure out if it’s right for your business and implement it successfully.
Table Of Contents
What Is The 4/10 Work Schedule?
The 4/10 work schedule is an alternative full-time weekly schedule that provides employees with more time out of the office without compromising the amount of time devoted to work.
Instead of working eight hours a day for five days with a two-day weekend, on the 4/10 work schedule, employees work only four days a week, but with a ten-hour shift on each working day.
Under the 4/10 schedule, workers still put in 40 hours of work weekly, but have three days each week out of the office.
Why is the 4/10 work schedule being adopted by so many businesses? The system offers several possible advantages compared to the traditional five-day workweek.
More Free Days
The top advantage the 4/10 work schedule can tout is that it gives employees more full days to themselves away from work.
Employees are out of the office for three days a week instead of just two, and having three days off sequentially opens up more possibilities for employees to make their weekend recreation plans.
Employees who get to spend more days away from the office may be less susceptible to work-related stress than employees working a traditional schedule.
Employees who are less stressed will be more productive when they are at work and are more likely to stay with your company instead of changing jobs.
Better Hiring Candidates
The four-day workweek is an idea that’s generating a great deal of press attention and support. A 4/10 schedule sends the message to potential employees that your company is forward-thinking and cares about the work/life balance of its staff.
Reduced Absenteeism And PTO
Since employees on the 4/10 schedule have an extra 52 days off each year compared to those working the usual five days a week, they might find it easier to fit in things like doctor or dentist appointments without needing to miss all or part of a work day.
This makes accommodating such needs less disruptive to your business’s workflow, and you may find employees less inclined to use up all of their allotted vacation days.
Although the main advantage of the 4/10 work schedule is giving employees more time to rest up away from work, it doesn’t always result in employees feeling their best.
Working more hours in a single day can lead to fatigue for some types of employees, even if they have more downtime to recover, and the longer an employee is at work the less productive they tend to be.
Being “Out Of Sync”
One of the biggest practical drawbacks to the 4/10 work schedule is that while it’s gaining some popularity, it’s by no means standard or even common, at least not yet.
This means that before your business adopts the 4/10 schedule, you’ll want to consider the potential difficulties involved in communicating and coordinating with important partners or customers who are still on a traditional five-day workweek.
Complexity And Efficiency
Going to a 4/10 schedule inevitably adds some complexity to your workforce scheduling process compared to a traditional schedule.
This is especially true if you have two or more teams on offset schedules, employees taking their extra day off on different days, or need to coordinate meetings and customer service with partners or clients who haven’t adopted the 4/10 system.
Also, just because your employees are working the same number of hours in a week doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting the same amount of work done.
Longer periods out of the office and fatigue from long days might mean that balls get dropped unless steps are taken to make sure productivity is high and communication between employees is effective.
What Types Of Business Can Use The 4/10 Work Schedule?
Obviously, the 4/10 work schedule is an ideal fit for companies that can easily adapt to working longer hours on fewer days, and which don’t have regular customer-facing operations.
Companies that do need to maintain employee coverage five days a week to serve customers or stay in touch with partners can potentially make the 4/10 schedule work for their needs by splitting their staff into two teams with offset three-day weekends.
Because of the potential for fatigue in working 10-hour days, the 4/10 schedule might not be a good fit for companies that require employees to be on their feet or drive throughout their workday. In such circumstances, regular breaks are crucial.
Making The Most Of The 4/10 Work Schedule
Communicate With Your Employees
Before making a decision, get feedback from your employees, and then announce any change well in advance.
Since the main benefit of the 4/10 schedule is giving employees a better work/life balance, it’s only appropriate to make sure your staff’s opinions on it are in line with your own, and it’s never a good idea to blindside employees with a major change.
Be Flexible On The Extra Day Off
Get employee opinions on which days of the week should be the extra off day under the 4/10 schedule.
Although most employees will probably want their additional day off to be Friday or Monday to create a three-day weekend, some may want an off day to rest up in the middle of the week. Try to accommodate employees’ preferences as much as it’s feasible.
If you need to split your workforce into two teams to maintain five-day-a-week staffing, you can take employee preferences into account when selecting the teams.
Optimize Scheduling And Task Management
To overcome the potential pitfalls of scheduling and efficiency that the 4/10 system presents, consider using a dedicated software tool for scheduling and task management.
Inch is an employee management solution that allows managers to quickly and accurately create schedules, assign tasks to teams and individual employees, and make sure work gets done.
With Inch, teams and individual employees can seamlessly communicate and share information on projects to prevent balls from getting dropped during handoffs between teams or on long weekends.
Inch can also give managers confidence that projects are on track by letting them use notifications to alert teams about important developments, and setting automatic notifications to update them on the status of tasks.
Inch is easy to use and functions on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, so it can adapt to your business’s technology policies and employee BYOD preferences.
Inch is a powerful way to maximize the efficiency and productivity of your business on the 4/10 work schedule so both you and your employees can enjoy the extra time away from the office.
Smarter Scheduling With Inch
With the benefits of better work/life balance and higher employee morale, it’s easy to see why the 4/10 work schedule is gaining in popularity.
It’s not for every business, though. Before you make the switch, get employee input, consider the impacts on clients and partners, and be prepared to make process changes to handle new scheduling complexity and maximize productivity.
One of the best ways to make your business more efficient, whatever type of schedule you use, is by handling scheduling, task management, and critical team communication with Inch.