Moving towards a healthy work culture
What do countries like Denmark and New Zealand and Japan have in common? The answer is simple: they implement four-day workweeks. Though it might seem counterintuitive to production, statistics show that it’s actually more productive and efficient than the traditional 5-day workweek. Desirae Haluk gives us more insight on how to achieve a more productive work-life balance and how to transition and implement it in your business as well.
The 4 day work week
In this presentation, Desirae talks about converting work life into a four-day week without losing business. According to her, it's not like there is a sure way of doing it but the reason why she started thinking this way was when she read books in the past and that really influenced her way of thinking. When Desirae was in the corporate world, she will have really great ideas that she wanted to start working on in the middle of the night. Sometimes it's at four in the morning, sometimes it's at eight o'clock at night so the traditional nine to five has always bothered her.
Desirae came from an entrepreneurial family, her brother and father are entrepreneurs. Her mother is a real estate agent, which is not a typical workday. She felt like it was probably in her genetics to go against the norm. But the last straw for her was when she was having a really stressful life in the last six months with moving, COVID, and the travel situation. She started feeling really stressed inside when she can’t fit in yoga or simple activities like running or walking on her schedule. That’s how she realized she needs to make some changes. She started really internalizing this.
Don't kill yourself as a business owner. You don't have to be up all night and up all day. You can have a well-balanced life. You can own a business and still be there for your family and you can be successful at it. Also, appreciate your employees and treat them like it and let them know that they're doing a good job and if you need to criticize them give them constructive criticism. Say it with kindness in your voice or in your messages rather than beating down on them. Send them a little bit of appreciation. It goes a long way and it doesn't have to cost a lot, they're just little pats on the back that keep people feeling motivated.
4 day work week statistics
- In March 2020, Gallup concluded that individuals working 4 days per week reported lower levels of burnout and higher levels of well-being compared to people working 5 or 6 days a week.
- After switching to a 4-day workweek with a normal week's salary, they reported a 20% gain in employee productivity. They also saw a 27% reduction in work stress levels and a 45% increase in work-life balance.
- In 2019, Microsoft Japan tested reducing the workweek by one day, which led to a 40% boost in productivity.
- Not only that, but almost 80% of respondents say the pandemic has increased their desire for a 4-day workweek. An overwhelming 98% believe it would improve their mental health.
- Reduces overhead and other costs (a company in Japan reported a 23% decrease in costs.
- 63% of employees in the United Kingdom said that a 4-day workweek helped attract and retain talent.
Benefits of a four-day workweek
Companies who are shifting to this trend show great results and these numbers are phenomenal. By doing these, they increase longevity and the quality of life. Good benefits of decreasing your workweek or the days per week, it reduces overhead and other costs like janitorial services. If you're cleaning a building five days a week, you're decreasing that by 20%. Same with any type of office supplies are used less, you're not heating or air conditioning the building as much.
Places like Denmark and New Zealand, they're the happiest countries on earth and they both implement four-day workweeks. So there are just so many good things and great things about it.
Desirae is planning for 2023 to be big and wants to fully convert Clairant to a four-day workweek.
Although there was nothing structured about this at all, they're going to start campaigning about it and have a hashtag on social media to really push it because she wants a lot of people to come on board for this, not just the people at Clairant.
How to implement a 4-day work week:
- Transition to a no meetings on Friday policy.
- Remain open for 5 days
- Let the employee choose which day each week they will take off
- State clear goals and responsibilities
- No need to make up for the hours: Measure employees by output, not by hours
- Understand that some weeks are busier than others
- Do not micro-manage
- If you can’t trust your employees, get new employees
- Treat your employees right with the healthy work culture and they will treat you right
Desirae feels like if you treat your employees right and provide a healthy environment for them, they're going to be loyal to you and they're going to treat you and your company the same way. That’s the main reason why she wants to do those same positive things for her employees. She wants everybody to be happy and harmonious and work in a place where they're not dreading to go to.
To make sure her employees are happy, she tells them that if they’re unhappy with the task that they do every day that stresses them out, tell her so they can trade different responsibilities with other employees.
Paul: Are all your employees salaried? or are they hourly? What are you going to do as far as pay for hourly employees who are now losing a day's worth of their pay?
Desirae: First of all, it would all be an option. It will be if you want to do this, you can, all of my employees right now are 1099, but my goal is for 2023, for them to be salaried employees, at least two of them, including myself or plus myself, and then I have more of a part-time employee, that maybe wouldn't, I'm also planning to offer them benefits in 2023.
Keep track of your hours. I'm not saying don't, I'm not telling them to stop counting. It's just that you're not expected to stress yourself out five days a week You can move around your workload, however, you want. And as long as, you show up to meetings with our clients. During normal business days or hours, I would still have them count their hours as they do, and then they invoice me. But in the future, I will just keep a salary like this is your salary and get your responsibilities done. So that's how I would do it.
George: My employees, we work four to five-hour a day because after four to five hours, burnout starts and you start to get tired and stressed and mistakes begin to happen. So even if it means that we have to go back a second day, rather than finish it all, then that's okay.
Drew: I'm both impressed and inspired by what you're proposing because the key thing for me is the term “healthy work culture”. And what I like that you're doing is a healthy work culture that is defined differently by each individual because we're all unique human beings. And you're giving your team the option to determine or define what healthy work culture is for him or her and giving them options.
For some people it's mental, it's their cognitive being, and some are physical. So I really appreciate you thinking like this. And I think this is definitely something that a lot of us can just at least take the big picture and, and adapt our own way of doing it. But thank you for presenting this.
Trust is the foundation of any kind of relationship. Initially, you have to have the right people on board, you've got to trust yourself, and then trust the people you bring on. Then this 4-day workweek will work. You gotta start at the beginning of having the right people and having your own in the right mindset.
ABOUT DESIRAE HALUK
Desirae Haluk is the President and CEO of Clairant Services, LLC. She is a digital marketing expert and a chief marketing officer. She ideally gives assistance to the startups and small businesses that need help in the world of Marketing. If you ever need help in strategizing to market your business, Desirae Haluk can provide you with a simplified marketing strategy that will help you establish your brand, discover who you are, and what you have to offer.
Get to know Desirae Haluk more!
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