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Posted 3rd May 2024

Flexible Working Rights: The Benefits And Challenges Of A Shorter Workweek For Businesses

Following the introduction of new flexible working rights, business experts comment on the potential benefits and challenges of a shorter workweek for UK businesses.

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flexible working rights: the benefits and challenges of a shorter workweek for businesses.


Flexible Working Rights: The Benefits And Challenges Of A Shorter Workweek For Businesses
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Following the introduction of new flexible working rights, business experts comment on the potential benefits and challenges of a shorter workweek for UK businesses.  

This follows a four-day work week work trial where over half of CEOs and project managers involved observed a positive impact, noting substantial improvements in employee well-being, staff turnover, and job recruitment. 

An overwhelming 96% of employees reported benefits to their personal life, highlighting the policy’s role in improving mental and physical health, work-life balance, and job satisfaction.

With this in mind, Kyle Eaton, money.co.uk business bank accounts expert, comments on the potential impact of a shorter workweek on businesses:

“As discussions about work-life balance and productivity continue to evolve, the concept of a 4-day work week is gaining traction in the UK. This shift towards shorter working hours would be a big change to the traditional work model, aiming to enhance employee well-being while maintaining or improving productivity. Here are some of the ways it could impact businesses.

  • Increased consumer leisure time: With an extra day off each week, consumers would have more leisure time. This increase in free time opens up opportunities for more frequent visits to shops, restaurants, theatres, cinemas and other cultural venues. People might be tempted to extend their weekends, engaging in activities they wouldn’t otherwise have time for, potentially resulting in more revenue for relevant businesses. However, this will remain entirely dependent on consumer budgets. 
  • Growth in domestic tourism: A 4-day workweek could see a rise in short breaks as individuals and families take advantage of the extra day off to explore the UK. This could particularly benefit the hospitality industry in tourist hotspots, driving demand for accommodation, dining, and entertainment options.
  • Shift in peak times: The traditional peak times for consumer-facing businesses might change, with increased footfall not just limited to weekends but also spread across the additional day off. This could help companies to smooth out demand over the week, potentially leading to better use of resources and more consistent revenue streams.
  • Challenges in staffing and productivity: Reducing working days could make it difficult to maintain productivity levels for businesses. Industries that rely heavily on daily output may struggle to adjust, but focusing on efficiency and flexible working arrangements could lessen these challenges. Some industries may find that a shorter workweek leads to a more productive workforce, with potential benefits including reduced time off and improved employee satisfaction. Knowledge-based sectors, creative industries, and tech companies, in particular, may benefit from a more rested and motivated workforce.
  • Opportunities for marketing and promotions: Businesses will need to adapt to changing consumer behaviours. This may involve adjusting marketing strategies, developing new products or services tailored to the extended weekend, and exploring new ways to engage with customers. 

“The move towards a 4-day workweek in the UK represents a potential shift in work-life balance that could bring about both opportunities and challenges for businesses. While it presents challenges regarding productivity and staffing, it also offers opportunities for increased consumer engagement and innovation. Businesses that are flexible and willing to adapt to these changes may be better positioned to thrive in this evolving landscape.”

Categories: Business Advice, News


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