The concept of the five day, 9 to 5 work week has become increasingly unappealing with each passing month.
Even large companies like Unilever have started experimenting with four-day workweeks and how this structure may impact their overall operations.
However, the future of work requires more than shaving off one day of a person’s work schedule and expecting them to complete the same amount of work in a shorter period of time.
So instead of simply shortening the work week, leaders need to embrace full flexibility.
What this means is accommodating all work styles and schedules, while allowing employees to identify when they are the most productive.
For instance, customer communication platform Front started experimenting with a concept called Flexible Fridays. This approach made employees unreachable every Friday, which means no meetings, no emails, no expectations, and workers have the ability to choose how they want to work.
Flexible Fridays aimed to give employees a chance to focus on deep work, while still servicing customers and encouraging a healthy work-life balance. According to internal feedback, employees found this option to positively impact their mental health.
“Flexible Fridays have changed my life for the better. I really can’t get over the impact this has had on my overall well-being,” said one worker. “Don’t get me wrong—I work 80% of my flex Fridays like I would a normal workday, but when Thursday night comes around, I feel (mentally) free.”