Is less more when it comes to productivity at work?
A month after changes to flexible working legislation, and employers have faced a rise in requests for flexible working. While most people are familiar with the idea of flexi-time and remote working, compressed hours is arguably a more difficult concept to come to terms with.
There has been a lot of debate surrounding the idea of the compressed working week after the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim publicly stated his support for a three-day working week which would involve 11-hour shifts and employees working well into their 70s. Entrepreneur Richard Branson, later stated the proposed working week ‘could work’.
Nevertheless, others are less sure of the viability of a compressed week, and you may find it challenging to convince your employer that your output will be improved by working less rather than more!
A flexible working arrangement based around fitting all the work usually done in a conventional five-day working week into a shorter period of time. Commonly, a compressed week may involve working Monday to Thursday with Friday off.
- A compressed working week may allow you to gain free time without losing income.
- Working compressed hours may save you money spent on commuting to and from your workplace. Similarly, money will be saved on childcare.
- Working compressed hours may allow you to gain a better work/life balance, and would give you the time to things that previously would have had to schedule for weekends and holiday days.
- The majority of employees who work compressed hours report that their productivity and motivation increases when they lose a working day from their schedule.
- Some may find the demands of squeezing their work into a shorter period of time demanding, both physically and mentally
- An increase in the length of the working day would make for less free time the evenings after work.
As with all modes of working, there are advantages and disadvantages of working compressed hours. If you think compressed hours is for you, arranging a trial period with your employer may be the way to go when trying to convince them that less is more when it comes to increasing your efficiency and agility at work.