What’s the latest incentive companies are offering in light of rising fuel prices?
Answer: a four-day workweek.
As gas continues to rise above $4 a gallon, many employers are letting folks work four 10-hour days instead of the traditional five.
The benefit to employees is obvious: Skipping a day of work saves them 20% of their commuting costs. That’s a great benefit that helps recruiting and retention rates — without much cost for the employer.
The Monday-Thursday schedule can cause some problems, though. For companies considering compressing work schedules, here are some things to consider:
- Complaints — A lot of companies will still need to have some bodies in the seats on Fridays. That can cause a problem if everyone wants the new schedule. You can try revolving the day the employees get off, so the workplace stays evenly staffed throughout the week.
- Lost productivity — Employees won’t necessarily get as much done in four long days as they can in five normal days. Managers will need to pay close attention to performance when the program begins.
- Burnout — Some employees might overestimate their ability to work extra long days.
One option for firms reluctant to dive into the four-day week: alternating between five- and four-day weeks, extending the days so 80 hours are worked over two weeks’ time.