What is this new model, its benefits, and how could it impact internal communication?
Several companies successfully implemented the four-day work week in many countries, pre and post-pandemic.
It all started in 2015. The pioneer country in implementing a reduced work week of fewer days without a salary reduction was Iceland, which conducted a trial until 2019 among public sector employees in their capital, Reykjavik.
The 2,500 people working in the civil service reported less stress and burnout, improved health, and enriched work-life balance, with no decreased productivity and state revenue.
Today, 86% of Icelanders work fewer hours or can apply for this new time pattern.
Crossing new frontiers
Pre-pandemic, New Zealand also entered into this modality. The Perpetual Guardian company approved the four-day work week in 2018, and Unilever implemented it in 2021. In the middle of the pandemic and with the country’s borders closed, the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, promised to extend it to the entire territory to promote domestic tourism and the economy.
Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, an initiative led by 30 companies hopes that the Parliament will adopt a 32-hour working week nationwide.
On the other hand, Microsoft, in Japan, was the first company to implement the four-day workday. It found that the corporation increased sales, and workers improved their productivity by up to 40% while reducing electricity, ink, and paper costs.
4 Day Week:
the NGO that spreads to several countries
the NGO that spreads to several countries
Imitating the model tested by Perpetual Guardian, 4 Day Week Global, a non-profit organization, was established to provide a platform for those interested in supporting the 4-day week as part of the future of work.
The pilot test began in the United States and Canada and has already spread to Australia, the United Kingdom, and other European countries.
The NGO promotes this work model by advocating its benefits:
- Improved business productivity.
- A competitive advantage when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent.
- Improved health outcomes for workers and their families.
- Increased engagement with a more energized, efficient, and motivated workforce.
- Challenges the gender equality issue.
- Positively impacting the environment and sustainability.
Companies in Latin America are also beginning to join this wave through pilot tests, as this initiative usually begins, to measure and evaluate the impact, make adjustments, and drive it effective over time.
The clockwork of internal communication
This people-centered approach drives a new model with multiple employees and business benefits.
However, its implementation requires careful planning so that all areas of the company continue their operations as they have done in the conventional model.
In this sense, the pandemic cleared the way, opening digital spaces that continue alongside the physical ones.
Internal communication once again plays a key role in the process. Not simply communicating how the work method will be implemented, but what is expected from everyone in the company.
What to take into account from the IC area during the launching?
- Planning the communication of the new measure.
- Clear and concise communication of how the process and its implementation will be.
- Provide concrete knowledge of the benefits and disseminate what is expected in terms of commitment.
- Provide certainty about the sustainability of salaries.
- Ensure the stages of communication so that the information spreads to all areas promptly.
A new internal communication model?
Surely, this new model has much of the hybrid scheme that most companies currently have.
The key is to keep these processes aligned with the organization’s culture without losing the essence of what the company must communicate to its employees.
The commitment and collaboration of all areas of the organization are needed to develop an internal communication model that responds to the new needs that may arise.
If you have doubts about how to carry out this and other change processes, at Oxean, we can assist you.
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